The Biggest Hits and Misses of WrestleMania XXIX

Daniel Van Boom@dvanboomAnalyst IIApril 8, 2013

The Biggest Hits and Misses of WrestleMania XXIX

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    It could be argued that WrestleMania XXIX had a very weak buildup, but the event itself delivered.

    No, it wasn't perfect, but unlike most WrestleManias, this one had no filler or flagrantly bad segments.

    The undercard was consistently good, and while some of the main event matches weren't perfect, there were plenty of terrific WrestleMania moments spread throughout the show.

    There may be some criticism in this article, but overall it was the best WrestleMania in years.

    The following are the biggest hits and misses of WrestleMania XXIX.  

    All photos courtesy of 

Hit: The Shield Just Gets Better and Better

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    The Shield is 4-0, both in wins and quality matches. Not only has it yet to lose, but it hasn't had a bad match yet. 

    The six-man tag that opened the show was a little shorter than some of its other matches, but it was the perfect opener for the show.

    The bout struck the fine balance of making the babyfaces look strong while also putting over the newcomers.

    If The Shield wasn't made as a collective before, it definitely is now. Each member got to show his unique talents at The Show of Shows.

    Sheamus, Orton and Big Show all put in solid performances too, and the result was a very tight match.

Hit: WWE Surprises Us with a Mark Henry Win

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    A win for Ryback seemed like a sure thing coming into WrestleMania XXIX.

    The weight of "The World's Strongest Man" was unfortunately too much to bear, and Big Hungry suffered another defeat.

    Ryback still got his WrestleMania moment, though, as he hit Henry with an undeniably impressive Shell Shock after the match.

    WWE's choice to have Ryback lose again is questionable, but it all depends where it goes from here.

    There have been rumblings of a Cena vs. Ryback feud, so this could possibly lead into a heel turn.

    Either way, it was nice of WWE to throw us a surprise.

Hit: Tag Team Matches Can Be Fun

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    A lot of WWE's tag team matches can be boring.

    They're usually very generic: Babyface has a flurry at the beginning, heel team works on him for a while, babyface gets a hot-tag and the match ends soon after that.

    Team Hell No vs. Ziggler and Langston wasn't a long match, but it was a fast paced and fun one.

    It opened with Ziggler and Bryan mirroring the latter's 18-second loss at last year's event, AJ kiss and all.

    From there the match never really had a boring point. All performers were as sharp as ever.

    Bryan's kicks blistered, Ziggler sold like only he can, and Kane and Langston brought the big impact.

    Plus, after this match Daniel Bryan got a great ‘Mania moment, as the 80,000-strong crowd chanted “Yes!” with him.

Miss: Fandango Is a Waste of Jericho

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    Fandango vs. Jericho was sloppy at times, but it wasn't a bad match by any means.

    Its goal was obviously to get Fandango over, and at that it succeeded, as Jericho was very kind to the newcomer.

    So on paper this should be a hit, but it’s hard to not feel like it was a waste of Jericho's talents.

    Jericho got a decent match out of Fandango, but he could've gotten a great match out of more talented performers like Antonio Cesaro or Christian.

    It's worth noting that this could turn into a hit depending on how well WWE uses Fandango moving forward. 

    The pressure was on for Fandango last night, but now it’s really on him. He needs to capitalize on this momentum in the coming weeks.  

Hit: Swagger and Del Rio Work a Solid Match

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    Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio would fall about in the middle of the best WrestleMania World Heavyweight Championship matches.

    It wasn’t Undertaker vs. Batista, but there were no glaring flaws and it was more exciting than Del Rio's first 'Mania match with Edge.

    The action was generally fluid, though the match's apex came when the two traded submission holds toward the end.

    After some action outside and involvement from Colter, it was Del Rio who was victorious.

    It's a shame that Ziggler didn't cash in, but this is 100 times better than the World Heavyweight Championship match at last year’s event.  

Hit: CM Punk and Undertaker Steal the Show

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    CM Punk vs. The Undertaker was by far the most exciting feud coming into WrestleMania.

    It's no surprise, then, that it was also the best match of the night.

    It wasn't as epic as some of the Phenom's recent 'Mania bouts, but it told just as good a story. 

    Everyone was 99 percent sure that CM Punk would be the 1 in 21-0, but that didn't stop this from being a tremendously immersive and captivating match.

    In a perfect world, this match would've gone on last, but that's really here nor there.

    All that matters in that CM Punk and The Undertaker delivered a very strong Match of the Year candidate. 

Miss: Triple H vs. Lesnar Slows the Pace Down

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    The last five or six minute of Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H II were as good as anything else as we saw at WrestleMania.

    The 20 minutes that preceded that are the problem.

    Brock Lesnar is a beast, and it's a necessary part of the story that he dominates Triple H in a slow and methodical way.

    However, it got too slow and very boring.

    For instance, Brock hit The Game with the German Suplex four times after using the Belly-to-Belly Suplex three times. 

    It was a necessary part of the story, but it could have been done in a more exciting and less repetitive way.

    The end of the match, as mentioned, was fantastic, but that doesn't exactly make up for the first 80 percent.  

Miss: John Cena vs. The Rock Was Just Okay

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    Legacy vs. Redemption was certainly better than Once in a Lifetime, but it was still far from main event worthy.

    Like Lesnar vs. Triple H, this was a structurally unsound match. 

    Cena and Rock got off to a slow start, as most long matches do. Seemingly out of nowhere, though, the two started trading finishing moves—and they didn’t stop until it was all over.

    It felt like a good half of the match was spent trading Rock Bottoms and Attitude Adjustments.

    There are few techniques more powerful in wrestling than the false finish, but it was extremely overused here.

    Still, the match wasn't half rest-hold, so at least it's an improvement.

    But when the only good thing you can say about the main event of WrestleMania is that it wasn't as bad as it could've been, then there's a real problem. 

Miss: No Big Developments

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    There are a lot of story points that have been teased to us and that we didn't get at WrestleMania.

    Randy Orton has been on the verge of a heel turn for a long time now (F4Wonline, via, and it didn't come.

    Dolph Ziggler has been trying to cash in his Money in the Bank contract for almost a year, but he didn't try here.

    Kane and Daniel Bryan seemed destined to implode in their tag team match, but they didn't.

    These are all story points that could have led to incredible WrestleMania moments, but we didn't get them.

    As a fan, it's hard not to feel at least a little robbed.  

    WrestleMania XXIX was all wrestling and minimal story progression. At least the wrestling was mostly good.  

    Follow Daniel on Twitter @dvanboom