WrestleMania, however, was a thumbs-in-the-middle effort in my opinion. There was nothing bad about the show, but nothing truly memorable, either. The undercard was solid, but unspectacular, and the “main events” all delivered as I assumed they would.
My favourite undercard match was the opener, featuring The Shield against Orton, Big Show and Sheamus. All three wrestlers on the “babyface” side could easily main event next year’s WrestleMania, and have all headlined WrestleMania’s in the past, so I really enjoyed the “big match feel” the opener brought. Plus, the spotlight shined bright on Dean Ambrose, my pick for breakout superstar of 2013.
Mark Henry and Ryback had another solid, if unspectacular match, however Ryback delivering the Shell Shock to Mark Henry was a sight to be seen, and incredibly impressive.
While I might be in the minority, I really enjoyed Fandango’s debut, and thought he had a great outing against Chris Jericho. I’m invested in his character, and think he’s going to be a major player in WWE storylines going forward. In some ways, I feel like WWE might have struck gold with this, pun intended, as they did when they debuted Goldust in 1996. Yes the match was clunky in parts, but coming from NXT in front of less than 500 people to wrestling at WrestleMania in front of 80,000 probably had an effect on the former Johnny Curtis’ nerves.
The main events all delivered the goods. My favourite of the three was CM Punk vs. The Undertaker. Undertaker turned back the hands of time, yet again, and delivered another incredible WrestleMania performance. Although the outcome of the match was rarely in doubt, there were many times it was believable that CM Punk had the Undertaker beat, and the sequence of the Go to Sleep followed immediately by the Tombstone has to be seen to be believed. And how painful was the big elbow from the top rope, to the Undertaker, outside the ring on the Spanish announce table? My guess is the man responsible for ensuring that table collapsed is searching for a new job as we speak.
Brock Lesnar and Triple H was every bit as hard hitting as I thought it would be, and I don’t think there is a scarier human-being on the planet than Brock Lesnar. The joke at our Pay-Per-View party was that the match was only slightly un-realistic because Brock Lesnar feels no pain, and fears no man, so any time he was on the receiving end of any damage, it felt out of place (in jest, of course). It’s a shame that Brock doesn’t work a more full-time schedule because he has never been more dynamic than he is right now. Paul Heyman was perfect in his role here, as well.
And in the final match, John Cena and The Rock put on a top-notch, main-event-worthy match, with multiple believable false finishes, leading to the Attitude Adjustment and a win for John Cena. The story of the match, though, seems to be Rock’s reactions after the match, appearing to say goodbye to the WWE Universe, and embracing John Cena in a post-match conversation. Although The Rock was advertised for WWE Extreme Rules, in May, it appears this will be the last we see of The Great One (for the time-being), and this match was a fitting send-off for one of the greatest Superstars of all time (and certainly better than his send-off at the end of WrestleMania XX).
So, all in all, an enjoyable outing on PPV, made more enjoyable by the WrestleMania atmosphere. WWE out-did themselves, again, constructing an absolutely beautiful entrance-way and set, and some of the visuals it created will be used in video packages for years to come. If you missed WrestleMania, and have the opportunity to order the replay, I would recommend it as a fun event that didn’t have a bad match, and didn’t suffer from the burn out that some WWE PPV’s have in the past.
Now let’s see what tonight’s WWE RAW has in store for us!