Apart from my all-time favourite wrestler taking a giant dump all over his legacy with one of the most disappointing Wrestlemania matches in history, this wasn't a bad show. But everything felt rushed - it sounds crazy to say that four hours just isn't enough time for ten matches, but it really isn't when almost all the matches are meant to be special and everything has to have video packages and spectacular entrances.
The Batista fishsticks sign went a long way towards redeeming the show. And I thought "Norway hates Cena" was hilarious for some reason. I don't know why I thought it was as funny as I did. Maybe it was the idea that the whole country had a referendum or something. But it wasn't as funny as Cena posing with the Cena haters.
But man. That Bret Hart shitstorm. Went on way too long, was clumsy and clunky and awkward, the whole family looked like cheap, desperate trash... ugh. I hope if Shawn's really retiring that he takes a cue from this match and recognizes the value of going out on a high note. I mean, I get it. Bret can't wrestle. So smash Vince with a chair, put him in the Sharpshooter, and call it a day. It didn't need 800 crowbar shots, two badly-explained swerves, and a whole lot of Harts in ill-fitting rented tuxedoes.
I was hoping for one of the great wrestling shows of all time and I thought Rey-Punk and Bret-Vince were both going to be awesome in different ways. So I was a little disappointed, but still thought it was a great show, at the same usual standard of the excellent Wrestlemanias for most of the last ten years. Like at all those WMs, there were matches that should've been better because they were way too short, but the usual handful of great matches that they took care of still totally made the show.
Rey Mysterio is the anti-Mr. Wrestlemania. It's crazy. In every single match he's been in at Wrestlemania, they give him about half as much time as he needs/deserves -- or with the JBL match, they cut the whole thing. It's too bad. I sort of understand feeling obligated to have Vince and Bret take up a bunch of time because of all the buildup but, I mean, wow. I don't know how two people as smart and creative as Bret and Vince put that match together.
Nevertheless, the main matches delivered. They always do. Michaels always does. Cena, Edge, and Jericho almost always do. And Undertaker may be a cripple but he's been in arguably the best match at the last four Wrestlemanias, pretty amazing. The quality of the streak matches has really turned around since WM17.
There were a lot of other things on the card which could've been shaved in order to give Rey-Punk more time...including Punk's long walk and preaching.
I look at it like this...you might remember a while ago (maybe late last year) when Punk did this interview where he said that Rey would be a dream opponent of his at WM. Now, at the time, he might've still been in the fabled doghouse for what - not dressing like a champion in public? Given that, I consider it a victory that he actually got to work with the guy he said (publicly) he wanted to work with. In a high-profile spot.
This WM *was* missing that little something special, and I figured out what - no closing highlights video.
I said to my friends before the MITB that I was rooting for Christian among the actual plausibles (which seemed restricted to him, Kofi, and Drew), but that I would lose my mind (in a good way) if Jack Swaggah came away with the win. So I was pleasantly surprised. And I became VERY happy and hopeful when Edge speared Jericho through the barricade, but sadly no Swaggah.
There were plenty of disappointments on this card (ohmygodBretVince), but the main event delivered, and the PPV should still get credit for the awesome build, so I'm still going to have pleasant memories for XXVI.
It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects. "This topic is going to suck to read in three years." -Psycho Penguin "Well. Shit." -hansen9j
Bret-Vince sounds like the guys in the booking meeting were all "this is gonna be AWESOME, crowd will pop like CRAZY for Bret double-cross", because on paper that sounds right, but the execution was weak. And I put that on Vince. Well, not so much on Vince but in WWE's opinion of the crowd's interest in "Mr. McMahon" and seeing Vince get beat down by Bret or anyone. Honestly, I think anyone - from Bret Hart to Stone Cold Steve Austin to the ghost of Brian Pillman - beating down Vince for ten-plus minutes was going to lose it's sizzle after the first couple of shots.
I didn't see anything that happened before HHH was walking out victorious and I didn't really get to sit and watch until the very end of Edge/Jericho, but what I watched, I dug. I would have preferred to see Batista retain the title over Cena, especially in light of the face/face-main event, but Taker/HBK and to a lesser extent Cena/Batista were quite good with the storytelling.
I really just mostly hope the WWE keeps up the awesome run they have been on the last couple months.
Holy fuck shit motherfucker shit. Read comics. Fuck shit shit fuck shit I sold out when I did my job. Fuck fuck fuck shit fuck. Sorry had to do it....
Revenge of the Sith = one thumb up from me. Fuck shit. I want to tittie fuck your ass. -- The Guinness. to Cerebus
Saw an interesting quote from HHH in a report on Rajah.com. I had read that he was high on Sheamus, but he apparently is also high on The Miz and Kofi Kingston:
"He's (Sheamus's) just a 24/7 'I want to get better' kind of guy and that impresses me. There's a few guys like that. You know, The Miz is a guy like that. Kofi Kingston's like that. And to me that the exciting thing about the future for me in the WWE is guys like that, that have that passion," Hunter said. "There's a difference sometimes in personalities. It was a very cut-throat business a while ago and everybody was scheming to try and get their spot and you don't see that now. But you can still see the passion in the guys. And Sheamus is a guy with a ton of it."
It was a very cut-throat business a while ago and everybody was scheming to try and get their spot and you don't see that now. But you can still see the passion in the guys. And Sheamus is a guy with a ton of it."
(I really am the only one of "us" who went to this? I continue to be astonished at that.)
First off, a few logistical notes:
-- They couldn't decide whether they wanted the roof open or closed. It was alternately much too hot & comfortably cool in the building all throughout. This would have been especially awful for the goodly amount of crowd on the east side of the building, who had the sun directly in their faces for more than half the show.
-- It is freaky being in such a huge venue for wrestling. I had an excellent line of sight, but was so far away. I was clever to bring my binoculars, & the big monitor screens were very clear. But watching the ring is kinda like watching on a 9" TV screen.
-- If it sounded like the crowd was "dead", it was just because it's hard to mic that kind of space. (Besides, have the Cardinals ever had 72K people in that building before?? *snark* )
-- Holy crap, that ramp is long. At a confident stride pace, it took Matt Striker about 24 seconds to get the length of the ramp. So I took a quick audit of the hand-held camera crew. Nope, just the usual 3 guys, plus their cable pullers. Who spent the entire night doing wind sprints up & down that long ramp! Up the ramp, close-up on the stage entrance. Backing down the ramp as wrestler is WALKING. Back up the ramp, Lather, rinse, repeat. And then run around doing the usual amount of covering the match itself. Bonus checks for the camera guys!!!
-- Arena-size pyro is fun!
So, dark opening match was 26-man battle royal. Yup, get everybody else on the roster a WM appearance. It was pretty much impossible to tell what was going on. However, it was interesting to see who has the presence & look to be noticeable from way far afar. Funaki & Regal, yes. Kozlov & Vance Archer, not so much. Yoshi Tatsu? Well, he's enthusiastic.
Not very good national anthem equivalent. (We miss you, Lillian!!!) We knew we'd get a flyover, with an airforce base about 5 miles away. Pity we couldn't see it from inside the building.
The one & only reason for opening with R-Truth? He had that whold damn building doing the "What's up" thing. Mongo impressed. I'm glad Morrison got into the real WM (but would have preferred the MITB.) Big Show had to get in there someplace, & Miz deserves the paycheck too. Short match, rushed & confusing, & odd getting adjusted to the visual perspective.
Orton vs. DiBiase vs. Rhodes was much better than I expected. Randy actually is excellent at commanding that huge a space. Ted & Cody read as pretty inconsequential opponents, which worked with Randy being the relatively-good guy. Live, this was really good.
MITB was just stupidly overcrowded. There were just way too many people out there to do anything useful. There were good spots, there were stupid things. Evan Bourne was the early star, & Kofi winner for "most likely to "end up damaged" (which is not a good thing). Swagger? Really?? I was hoping for Vince to call an audible that, if Swagger is such a twit that he can't get the damn thing unfastened at the go home, somebody else needs to get in there & pull the trigger!!! Youch.
From that point on, there was a pall hanging over the 2 big title matches -- which one is Swagger going to run in on?
Sheamus has improved from the "who the fuck is this guy" level when he started. But really, not enough. You'd think he'd look better from a distance, but apparently that is a different skill, which he hasn't got yet. Although HHH is a wonderful heel, I think it's more fun when he can enjoy winning & have some fun.
Oh, yeah, Rey's entrance was screwed. Before the show started, there was something down at the stage area that sounded like a blown pneumatic hose. (I was thinking it probably had to do with Undertaker's smog.) It seemed like they'd gotten it under control. I'm now guessing that this was going to be the Rey entrance, & they only thought they had it fixed. Yeah, the hole in the stage floor was open, we were waiting, there was fluttering around down there. There was a pause while they tried to sort out a contingency plan. I think a couple of crew finally just shoved Rey up through the hole, & Rey tried to pretend that hadn't happened. That's gotta be a big bummer to start off.
Ray & CM Punk had an aftershow dark match in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, & it was amazing. That's the match they wanted to have here. Compared to that match, they didn't have nearly enough time here! Pity ...
Bret Hart vs. Vince. I personally have been bored with "Vince screwed Bret" thing for years now. But there were a *lot* of people in the crowd who were still way into it. I assume that as the various Hart family was entering, the commentators were outlining who all these people are. Nobody anywhere near me had any clue who any of them were. We got the drift, of course, but for most of us, they could have been anybody. Duh, it's gonna be a double screwjob. Duh, this is going to be the last we ever see of Nattie, Kidd & Smith, right? Way too prolonged on the tire iron. Then more tire iron. Then chairshots. I'm glad it was good for those who still care. But I should have made it the top-of-hour-2 potty break.
One thing I laughed about: after the match, there were 2 extra paramedic/EMT guys quietly leaving ringside for backstage. They both had extra equipment with them -- looked to me like oxygen. Did they have spare paramedics standing by with extra oxygen, just in case Vince, Bret, or any of the older family members got overexcited? Tee-hee.
I thought Jericho/Edge was kinda slow from the beginning, although it did pick up well. Don't know if something was actually going on, or if they were just dealing with a dead audience from the previous segment. The Edge spear across the tables was excellent, although dampened by the unpleasant thought that Swagger would be out with the briefcase at any moment.
(* crap, I just looked at the clock -- I gotta go! *)
Batista / Cena was great fun. I thought it deserved it's position on the card, & both of those guys know how to sell to the back row of the stadium -- in a good way!
Undertaker / HBK was also excellent. Different than last year, which is both reasonable & good. Did Taker legit jam up his ankle landing from the Old School? Looked like it took him a bit to shake that off. There were also a couple of places where things looked, out of the corner of my eye, like camera errors, but were really ref or other check-ins for either "are we OK?" or on the fly replans. The finish, with the reflections of the Flair retirement match, was awesome.
Given the way Shawn was acting, I really think he's at least going to be taking a substantial amount of time off. Don't know if this is really a "permanent" retirement, but I don't think it's going to be just a several month break.
If I may go Texas Kelly on people for a second, I can't believe that Triple H won that match. As Eke alluded, Sheamus didn't do much, and they had WAY more time than their feud should have allowed. I just don't get Trips winning, unless he's gonna face Cena at Extreme Rules or tonight on Raw.
Time from the Sheamus/HHH match should have gone to Rey and Punk, as they had to abbreviate what was a terrific match to start with. It was pathetic.
Still overall, I enjoyed WM, mostly for Jericho/Edge (with finishers that actually were timed and were hit perfectly, unlike HHH's pedigree for instance), Taker/HBK and Punk/Mysterio.
"Put on your helmets, we'll be reaching speeds of 3!" "It was nice of you to give that dead woman another chance." "All right, look alive everybody...oh sorry Susan."- MST3K: Space Mutiny Click Here (myspace.com)
Sing this special song. It's just for you. Jericho (as a heel) retains at Wrestlemania. I should travel back in time and pimp slap myself for whining about how this company doesn't value him. (*SLAP* "He beat Rock/Austin in one night stupid!" *SLAP*)
Let Truth be serious. He's too good to be K-Kwik 3000.
(before MITB) Me: Most of the best young wrestlers are all in this match! Roommate: Why shove them all in one ladder match? Me:... Roomate:? Singer: Go! If you close your eyes-- Me: The best entrance songs too.
Good for Yoshi, good for Swagger.
Having gotten over my Cena Haterade (I think it happened sometime around him dropping the "half of you tell me I suck everytime I see you" line a few years back) the pose next to the haters was awesome.
There have been very few times watching entertainment that I've smiled as wide as I did when I saw Vickie's tributes. Even in the worst match of the night, a non-wrestler managed to lie, cheat, then steal the highlight of the night.
Originally posted by TorchslasherIf I may go Texas Kelly on people for a second, I can't believe that Triple H won that match. As Eke alluded, Sheamus didn't do much, and they had WAY more time than their feud should have allowed. I just don't get Trips winning, unless he's gonna face Cena at Extreme Rules or tonight on Raw.
People on this internet thingy seem to be tremendously harsh on poor Sheamus. I'm not entirely sold on the guy but it's hard to argue with the heat he draws. Granted, working with HHH and Orton helps, but all he needs to do these days his beat his little chest, raise his arms and go "RARRRRR!" and the WWE Universe boos him like billy-o. Also, that backbreaker of his is mean lookin'.
The story of the match was basically Triple H getting his ass handed to him for a large portion of the match by the dominant youngster before using his veteran smarts to play possum and pull out a pedigree for the win. It was one of the few stories the commentary team got over well and I'd be surprised if this doesn't lead to Sheamus winning a rematch down the road.
I'd have loved Punk and Rey to get an extra five minutes too, but I have a hard time seeing HHH v Sheamus as the place to shave that time from when Bret/Vince beatdown was dragged out to the point you almost felt sorry for Vince.
Originally posted by The Sports GuyI continue to be dumbfounded that The Miz -- once upon a time a skinny "Real World: New York" roommate named Mike who referred to himself as "The Miz" and cracked his housemates up with fake wrestling speeches, then went on to a moderately successful "Real World/Road Rules Challenge" guy as he continued to refer to himself as "The Miz" -- somehow became a WWE tag-team champion named "The Miz." This is like Darryl Strawberry winning "Celebrity Apprentice," then becoming a Fortune 500 CEO.
Raises a question I've been meaning to bring up here: Why ISN'T there an actual physical WWE Hall of Fame?? Turn part of their office into it and rake in the cash! They could do touring exhibits as well!
Also great: referring to Swagger as doing an updated Jim Duggan gimmick, and thinking the MITB briefcase was actually full of money.
"In Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love. They had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock." -- Orson Welles, The Third Man
Another alright show this week, due due a focus on the in-ring stuff and a lack of illogical, boneheaded angles. Hooray! Scott Steiner vs. Homicide vs. Devon: This is a preview of the 3-way Tag Title match at Sacrifice.