What's up, ladies and gentlemen? My name is Eric Kanes and we are just several hours removed from WrestleMania 28, an event that I have to say turned out to be spectacular.
Although the show had a pretty weak start, it quickly picked up and we ended up getting three fantastic matches, one of which could quite possibly end up being "Match of the Year."
With that said, let's get right down into the full breakdown of the show:
Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan to become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion (DUD)
I wasn't expecting a great match here because it was obvious WWE wouldn't let them go all out before Undertaker/Triple H and Cena/Rock. However, I at least expected a nice 12 minute back and forth match.
Instead, what we got was Sheamus winning in a squash match, beating Daniel Bryan in 18 seconds after just one move.
This is the second year that both guys got screwed over at WrestleMania and it was especially disrespectful to Daniel Bryan, who spent the last several months busting his ass in matches and getting his character over.
He deserved better.
It would've been very easy to have a shorter divas match and scrap the pointless Brodus Clay segment. Oh well. Hopefully, Daniel Bryan can get his WrestleMania moment next year.
This wasn't that bad and I don't mind Kane going over. Doesn't really hurt anyone and the feud will likely continue into Extreme Rules, where Orton will get the win.
One thing that's interesting is the fact that Orton has been jobbing a lot lately. He lost to Mark Henry, lost to Rhodes, lost to Barrett, and now to Kane. Obviously, he can just bounce right back into the main event scene whenever, but I wonder why this is.
Big Show defeats Cody Rhodes to become the NEW Intercontinental Champion (**1/2)
This was another decent match with Rhodes spending a good portion of the match escaping from Big Show, taking control of the match for a bit, and ultimately getting defeated.
A lot of people were pissed, but as I said in my preview article, I approve. Rhodes as the Intercontinental Champion wasn't doing much for him and wasn't really going anywhere. If it's indifferent either way, might as well put the title on Big Show—gives him his WrestleMania moment and makes it seem more impressive when somebody beats him, since he is a proven main eventer.
Beating Big Show for the Intercontinental title > Beating Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental title.
Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos defeat Eve Torres and Beth Phoenix (1/4*)
This was hilariously bad.
There were botches left and right, Maria Menounos got way more in ring time than she should have, and I think she got legitimately hurt, too.
Watching her climb up the turnbuckle was brutal. Bring back Kharma, please.
The Undertaker defeats Triple H in Hell in a Cell w/Shawn Michaels as referee (****3/4)
Wow, this match was amazing.
I knew it would be great, but this completely exceeded my expectations. It outdid last year's match with all the near-falls and all the drama surrounding it. Jim Ross on commentary and Shawn Michaels' great facial expressions only added to it.
After Shawn Michaels hit sweet chin music on Undertaker and Triple H hit the pedigree, I thought it was over. Undertaker managed to kick out and he and Triple H both kicked out of many close calls. It ended with Undertaker defeating him in the same exact fashion that he defeated Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 26.
These guys put everything they had into the match, with Triple H sporting a cut above his eye and Undertaker having several nasty cuts on his back. Post-match with the commentators talking about how this could be The Undertaker's last match and then the moment with Undertaker, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels hugging and walking off together felt surreal.
Hopefully, The Undertaker has one or two matches left, but if not, this is a great way to go out. If this is it, thank you Undertaker, for all the years of putting on spectacular matches like these.
Team Johnny d. Team Teddy (**1/2)
This match was fun and served its purpose in getting all of these guys on the card, although it felt underwhelming after the Undertaker/Triple H match. I can't imagine what it would be like to try to follow that.
The highlight of this match for me was when Booker T walked up to the apron and socked all five of the guys standing there in the face one by one, as they didn't even try to defend themselves. That was unintentionally comical.
The spot with Kofi, Truth and Ryder all flipping over the top rope was pretty cool, too. I liked the ending with Eve getting into the ring while Ryder was setting up for the Broski Boot, Ryder getting distracted, and Miz hitting the Skull Crushing Finale to get the win.
This accomplishes two things: It potentially gives Miz something new to do, as John Laurinaitis will probably be looking to reward him, and it gives Eve even more heat.
Post-match, Eve kicked Ryder in the balls and walked off to a "Hoski" chant. If Eve starts getting enough heat, not only does that add some interest to the Divas division but it also gives WWE an opportunity to eventually use her as somebody's manager and transfer that heat over to them, similar to Edge and Lita.
Either way, I approve of this ending.
CM Punk defeats Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Championship (***3/4)
This match wasn't as great as I expected it to be, but I think that it's mostly because the crowd quieted down so much after the Undertaker/Triple H match. Still, the match was pretty damn good, with lots of great counter-holds.
The counter with CM Punk going for the top rope huricanrana with Chris Jericho reversing into the Walls of Jericho was awesome. It could've done without the added stipulation of "CM Punk loses if he gets disqualified" because nobody actually believed that he'd get disqualified, but it didn't hurt the match too much either.
I still think these guys can put on better matches, and I think we'll see a few more solid matches in the coming pay-per-views.
After the WWE Championship match, we got some weird segment with Brodus Clay and a bunch of dancing grandmas. Don't see why this time couldn't have been spent on the world title match.
The Rock defeats John Cena (****)
I think I might have been a bit generous with the rating as the match wasn't great from a technical standpoint, but it wasn't about that.
These guys still worked their asses off for over 30 minutes with lots of near falls. It looked like Rock might have hurt himself at one point, which slowed the match down a bit, but he ended up working through it.
I like that Rock won here. If Cena won, everything would just go back to normal and he'd be back in the WWE title picture within a month. Now, it's going to be interesting to see where his character goes from here.
It's also kind of funny to see people complaining that Cena lost, when these are the same people that complain every time he wins.
Overall, I have to give WrestleMania 28 a very strong 8.5/10. The Undertaker/Triple H match was awesome and the last two matches were strong as well. Other than the world title match, all the right people won.
It was also streamed well, leaving all of the high-profile matches for the last three hours. This is definitely a pay-per-view that won't be forgotten any time soon.
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