Image courtesy of WWE.com.
It is the grandest stage of them all: the yearly wrestling extravaganza.
Almost 80,000 fans packed out Sun Life Stadium for the four-hour super-show. All of the grandeur makes WrestleMania a very special event every year, but it is the quality of the wrestling behind it all that truly determines how great an event is.
WrestleMania XXVIII did not fail to provide.
In the little-seen DVD-exclusive dark match, Primo and Epico defeated Tyson Kidd with Justin Gabriel, and the Usos, in a triple-threat tag team match for the titles. Although only a short match, it remains the tag division's best showing for the year, which is why it was a shame that it missed out on the main card. Especially when Brodus Clay wasted 10 minutes dancing.
The event opened with a very disappointing 18-second match where one of the best tacticians Daniel Bryan lost the Heavyweight title to Sheamus. It may have made for a WrestleMania moment, but a 20-minute match from the two would have been much better. Kane and Randy Orton put together a solid singles match for the occasion, and The Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes for the Intercontinental title.
The Divas division had nothing worthwhile for the evening, other than a publicity stunt.
Instead of defending the title, Beth Phoenix teamed with Eve to lose to Kelly Kelly and the journalist Maria Menounos. The WWE tells us we shouldn’t try what we see on their programs at home, but any random journalist can get in the ring and defeat a champion apparently. If the division wasn’t already buried this would have put it underground.
From there things would truly start to shine. The Undertaker defeated Triple H to go 20-0 at WrestleMania in the “End of an Era” Hell in a Cell match. The show-stealing performance gained many match-of-the-year awards and a group hug from the two and Special Guest Referee Shawn Michaels provided for an emotional moment following the match.
After Team Johnny defeated Team Teddy in an average match that ushered in the era of People Power (which must be why the Hell in a Cell match was the end of an era), the WWE championship was defended in a wrestling clinic. CM Punk forced Chris Jericho into submission after 20 minutes of counter-grappling and pure wrestling.
To end the night the face of the PG-era, John Cena took on the staple of the attitude era in The Rock. The “once in a lifetime” bout took almost half an hour of pre-match build up to finally get started, but it did not disappoint. The over 30-minute bout lived up to the hype and saw the Rock standing tall over the franchise player.