WrestleMania, AKA the Super Bowl of wrestling, is more than just a pay-per-view event, and that held true once again on Sunday night.
The 29th installment of the legendary PPV not only featured the anticipated rematch between The Rock and John Cena for the WWE title, but several other titles—and a certain streak—were on the line, and many of the undercard matches were spectacular.
Oh yeah, and another epic battle that took place has a chance to go down in WrestleMania lore as one of the best ever.
Let's take a full look at what went down at MetLife Stadium.
The Shield defeats Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show
The match started off with The Shield displaying plenty of offense and playing up their pack-of-dogs mentality.
When they had Sheamus set for the triple power bomb, Big Show, who had previously been taken out of the match by a lengthy beating, rocked Dean Ambrose with a spear for the save.
Moments later, Sheamus crawled for a tag from Big Show, but Orton stole it and entered the ring instead. He appeared set for the win after he impressively hit Seth Rollins with a mid-air RKO off the top rope, but Roman Reigns quickly appeared to land a ring-rattling spear.
Ambrose, the legal man, then got the pin on Orton.
Afterwards, Show wasn't exactly enthused, and he delivered a KO punch to both Sheamus and Orton.
Heel turn count: Zero.
Mark Henry defeats Ryback
After Henry controlled a majority of the match, Ryback quickly turned things around when he hit the Meathook Clothesline. While he answered one of the match's biggest questions by showing he could lift up Henry for the Shell Shocked, The World's Strongest Man grabbed the rope and fell on Ryback. He then rolled over the "knocked-out" Ryback for the three count.
As the referees tended to Ryback, Henry came back for more, which turned out to be a huge mistake.
Ryback suddenly woke up, hit Henry with a spinebuster and landed a big Shell Shocked to bring the interesting battle to an end.
Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (c) defeats Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston
Although this battle was fairly short (just over seven minutes, shorter than Ryback vs. Henry), it featured a lot of really impressive spots from each wrestler, most notably Langston and Daniel Bryan, who got a little bit of WrestleMania redemption.
In the end, A.J. Lee distracted the referee so Ziggler could attack Kane with his briefcase, but he missed and was met with a gargantuan chokeslam instead. Bryan then tagged in and connected with the headbutt from the top rope for the win.
Another match, another loss for Ziggler.
Afterwards, Bryan got his moment with a huge "yes" chant from the crowd (via Michelle Beadle):
Michelle Beadle @MichelleDBeadle
Yes. Yes. Yes. #Wrestlemania http://t.co/332Vnznllz4/7/2013, 11:58:04 PM
Fandango defeats Chris Jericho
There were some fine moments in this match—Fandango's big leg drop off the top rope, Jericho being classic Jericho—but this will be remembered for the sloppy finish.
After Fandango missed an attempt for a second leg drop, Jericho went for the Lionsault but overshot it (although it didn't look like his fault). He then went for the Walls of Jericho, but sold a knee injury and Fandango was able to roll up the former World champ for the win.
Overall, it spoiled what was looking like a thrilling match, but Fandango got the push many were expecting.
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (c) defeats Jack Swagger
This certainly wasn't the most uptempo match you'll ever see, but it's difficult to deny the talented wrestling that took place inside the ring.
Del Rio and Swagger both showcased power, athleticism and a slew of good ol' fashioned, technically strong moves.
Unfortunately, most will instead remember the disappointing end.
Del Rio retained when he forced Swagger to tap out from the cross armbreaker, and once again, Ziggler disappointingly didn't cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
The Undertaker defeats CM Punk
Hey, Undertaker and Punk, thanks for saving WrestleMania.
Undertaker controlled the action for the first few minutes, but Punk turned things with a deep arm drag when 'Taker went for the Old School from the ropes.
Moments later, Punk continued his psychological games by landing 'Taker's classic move (via Bleacher Report's Brian Mazique):
Brian Mazique aka FP @UniqueMazique
CM Punk is a move thief - #WM29 http://t.co/nuTk8JXOwL4/8/2013, 1:11:50 AM
From there, it was scintillating back-and-forth action.
Punk earned several nearfalls. 'Taker hit the chokeslam, but Punk kicked out. Things moved outside, where 'Taker was placed on the Spanish announcers' table. Punk went with the flying elbow from the top rope and landed it, but the table didn't break (which probably hurt each wrestler even more).
Back inside the ring, Undertaker hit Punk with the Tombstone, but once again, he amazingly kicked out.
After the ref was knocked out, Punk drilled 'Taker with the urn and appeared set to end the streak (with the classic hands-folded-on-the-heart pin), but once again, he kicked out after two-and-a-half counts.
Finally, Undertaker reversed a GTS right into another Tombstone and got the clean pin. 21-0.
There aren't many words that do this match justice. It was easily Match of the Year worthy. While Undertaker technically left as the winner, each wrestler deserves endless amounts of credit in what was a truly incredible 22 minutes of greatness.
Triple H defeats Brock Lesnar
It's basically impossible to follow up what Undertaker and Punk did, but Triple H and Lesnar did a damn good job.
For a majority of the match, Lesnar put a beating on Helmsley, sending him through the Spanish announcers' table, hitting him with a slew of chair shots, punishing him with the steel steps and putting him in the Kimura Lock.
Michael Strahan @michaelstrahan
Brock Lesnar and Triple H going at it! Using chairs and breaking tables. #wrestlemania @wwe http://t.co/1a3njYkm704/8/2013, 2:08:59 AM
Lesnar even drilled Shawn Michaels with the F5 when the Heartbreak Kid tried to interfere.
But Triple H worked his way back into it. After Michaels delivered Sweet Chin Music to Paul Heyman, Helmsley got Lesnar into a Kimura Lock of his own. Lesnar countered with several slams onto the steel stairs, but The Game continued to lock in the hold.
Eventually, he set up Lesnar and dropped him with the Pedigree onto the steel for the pin.
Essentially, it was 24 minutes of two men putting their bodies on the line, and it was incredibly entertaining to watch.
WWE Championship: John Cena defeats The Rock (c)
After so many finishers, reversals from finishers and nearfalls that I lost count, John Cena is your new World Champion.
The Brahma Bull hit Cena with several Rock Bottoms and a People's Elbow, but the new champion was able to kick out every time, and after each wrestler exchanged blows for quite some time, Cena eventually grabbed the win after landing the AA.
Afterwards, the two men hugged it out and had a handshake. After Rock was given several moments in front of the crowd by himself, they stood at the top of the ramp together, hands held high.
No heel turn; just a new champion and two friends, apparently.
If you want an idea of the electricity surrounding the night's massive event, just know that even Pee-wee Herman was excited:
Pee-wee Herman @peeweeherman
OMG! Orton!! Shamus!! BIG SHOW!! RKO! Great White! Knock Out Punch!! VS The Shield!!! I like everybody involved-- can't they all win??4/7/2013, 11:10:55 PM
Pee-wee Herman! And it's a verified account! WrestleMania truly extends to the entire world.
As is expected during any event taking place at MetLife Stadium, there were butt fumble jokes. This one comes from wrestler Corey Graves:
Corey Graves @WWEGraves
Until Ryback vs Mark Henry, @MLStadium hasn't seen a beating like this since Mark Sanchez ran into his center. #WrestleMania @WrestleMania4/7/2013, 11:37:17 PM
Although Fandango was able to get the colossal WrestleMania win in his debut, many, such as this fan, were very far from impressed:
Dean Scambrose @TheWurdsmith
We just gonna botch finishes all night? Fandango was NOT ready for the big stage yet.4/8/2013, 12:14:19 AM
After Del Rio left WrestleMania with his belt, Bleacher Report's own Mike Chiari summed up how pretty much everyone was feeling:
Mike Chiari @MikeChiari
So Del Rio wins and Ziggler doesn't cash in? Literally the worst possible result. #WrestleMania29 @RingRustRadio4/8/2013, 12:46:41 AM
It was hard to find a tweet that truly describes the greatness of Undertaker vs Punk, but this certainly comes close (via Marvel's Ryan Penagos):
Ryan Penagos @AgentM
Holy. Crap. #wrestlemania CM Punk vs Undertaker was incredible. I'm exhausted from that. The arena is wipes out. Amazing.4/8/2013, 1:27:17 AM
There was a lot that went down during Triple H's win over Lesnar, but Goldust (aka Dustin Rhodes) managed to pack it all into one little Tweet:
Dustin Rhodes @Goldust
Man @TripleH & @BrockLesnar are beating the hell outta each other! #wm294/8/2013, 1:55:54 AM
While many were disappointed with the finish, the Baltimore Sun's Arda Ocal saw it this way:
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW.)
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!