Despite his promise to bring forth the most electrifying night in all of entertainment, not even WWE Superstar The Rock could salvage a lackluster and pointless card, culminating in one of the most disappointing WrestleMania finishes in ages. Let’s take a look at the night blow by blow.
Dark Match – Battle Royal
This is by far the disappointment of the night. Despite hyping it as the first time in four years that the US Championship would be defended at WrestleMania, despite it featuring Daniel Bryan (who is amazing in his own right) and Sheamus (who formerly chased and held the WWE Championship), the match was bumped entirely. Not only this, but the title match, created by Daniel Bryan under his rematch clause after losing the US Championship to Sheamus on RAW two weeks ago, was completely done away with at the last moment, and the match turned into a Battle Royal featuring Superstars who weren’t being featured on the PPV. The Great Khali wins this one, but the fans ultimately lost.
WrestleMania actually opens up with a pretty lame opening segment hyping The Rock’s appearance, and then the Great One himself steps into the ring to hype the crowd up.
Match #1 — Edge (C) w/ Christian vs Alberto Del Rio w/ Brodus Clay & Ricardo Rodriguez for the World Heavyweight Championship
We immediately knew we were in for a bad night when one of the most hyped matches for the second biggest belt in the company opens up the show. Edge and Del Rio put on a decent performance as an opener, but I feel like this match should have been bigger and had a more epic feel to it. Ultimately, if anything, this match cements my belief that Del Rio is being pushed way too far, way too fast. There are so many more wrestlers far more deserving of the shot he’s been given, and he’s just not bringing anything exciting. I don’t hate Del Rio, but he’s not ready for the main even scene like this. Edge ultimately wins this one by submission with the Edge-ecuction, despite a lot of fuss being made about Edge’s injured arm.
Match #2 — The Corre vs. Kane, The Big Show, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston
Jesus Christ, this match. Clusterfuck doesn’t even begin to describe it. Match opens with Santino and Heath Slater being the legal men, and Santino gets a few good hits in before tagging in The Big Show, who proceeds to wallop on Slater. Eventually, Ezekial Jackson interferes, and from here it just goes insane. Suddenly, everyone is in the ring at once unleashing hell, and the Ref seems content to just stand in one corner and wave his hands angrily. After everyone’s had the chance to jump in and hit their finishers, Santino hits the Cobra on Slater, followed up by Big Show’s knockout punch and the three count. This match lasted a grand total of 4, maybe 5 minutes. Bryan vs. Sheamus got bumped for this? Bullshit.
Match #3 — Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio
The first big WTF here was Rey Mysterio, billed for his hispanic heritage and Lucha Libre style wrestling, wandered out dressed like a poorly made knock off Captain America toy. Beyond that, it seemed like a pretty generic match, but Cody Rhodes shined here. Rhodes took his Dashing gimmick and ran with it, and his current gimmick is just as good. It’s unlikely the Mysterio feud is over; I’d still bet money on Mysterio coming out on top here somehow after a few more matches, but the most important thing is that Cody Rhodes faced Rey Mysterio and WrestleMania, and won.
Match #4 — Jerry “The King” Lawler vs. Michael Cole w/ Jack Swagger; Guest Ref “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
You know what? The fact that this match lasted more than 2 minutes and didn’t end the current Cole/Lawler feud really disappoints me. We got a match in which Lawler was dominant pretty much the entire match, but because of the Raw GM’s decision, Cole is still the winner. So we have their feud still on-going, plus Michael Cole now has a better WrestleMania record than Jerry Lawler (AND Daniel Bryan, for that matter). Stone Cold delivered a few laughs as was to be expected, but this was ultimately a pretty disappointing match too.
Match #5 — CM Punk vs. Randy Orton
How about that bad knee on Randy Orton? It hurts to bad for him to move, defend or perform his punt…but he can then jump five feet in the air from a supine position to hit the RKO and stand on the middle rope for a victory pose. Was glad to see Punk get such a great showing, but he spent the entire match beating the unholy fuck out of Orton, only to be robbed of his victory in the final five seconds. Absolutely terrible.
Match #6 — The Undertaker vs. Triple H, No Holds Barred
Both men managed to get some great entrances, and some amazing spots. I won’t call this the greatest match ever, like some people have been prone to; I won’t call this match terrible, as everyone else seems to want to. I will say it’s arguably the best match of the night, but it suffers because we knew how it was going to end, and it’s participants were simply in no shape to perform at this level. Both men were clearly still weak from injury, and both appear to have sustained further injuries throughout the night. Triple H was favoring his arm quite a bit, prompting speculation of a re-torn bicep muscle. Undertaker had a big work at the end of the match, which appears to be setting up an explanation for why we won’t see him again until next year’s WrestleMania, but he also seemed to have actually hurt his back, probably during the spot involving the Spanish announce table. There’s no word yet from official sources regarding injuries, however.
Match #7 — Snooki, Trish Stratus and John Morrison vs. Laycool and Dolph Ziggler w/ Vicki Guererro
First off, why the hell was this a mixed tag match? Aside from a few spots outside the ring towards the end, Morrison and Ziggler seemed to just be there to wave and cheer. Another match which, like the 8 man tag, is inexplicably allowed into the event while the US title match was pushed off the card and changed. Snooki managed to catch us all off guard, but…and let’s be absolutely clear about this…Snooki got the pin
. Snooki, who is not an active wrestler, untrained, and just there for publicity, got the pin in this match. Snooki and Michael Cole have better WrestleMania records than Daniel Bryan and Jerry Lawler. Just let that sink in.
Match #8 — The Miz (C) vs. John Cena
Another match which screamed clusterfuck. Something seems to have went wrong (possibly the 20 minutes spent with Undertaker and Trips on the mat?), and they seemed to be trying to rush this one a little bit. Furthermore, the match almost immediately killed the crowd. The audience was dead silent (when they weren’t booing Cena), and the announce team seemed at a loss for words. The match ended initially with a double count-out, before The Rock came out and declared that the match would be restarted as a No Holds Barred match.
Nearly immediately after the bell rings, The Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Cena, allowing Miz to capture the pin. The Miz, now looking even less like a legitimate threat then ever, is celebrating when The Rock runs in and hits The People’s Elbow on him. And thus, WrestleMania ends with The Rock standing tall in the ring. The current roster? You know, those guys that the night should be focused on over stars of an era that has passed long ago? They’re either backstage, or unconscious in the middle of the ring.
This truly was a clusterfuck of a night. I keep using that word, but what could better describe it? Ultimately, there was little to nothing worth caring about here. By far, the worst WrestleMania to date, with it’s lackluster matches and uninspired booking. Hopefully next year’s will recover from the slump, but this felt less like the grandest stage of them all and more like an extended episode of Raw.