Despite being WWE's biggest event of the year, last night's WrestleMania 29 event managed to disappoint fans who were expecting a spectacular show similar to last year.
While there were some marvelous matches contested on the card, the vast predictability of this event and its lack of surprises is what hindered it from being much more meaningful and memorable.
Here I will analyze each significant segment presented on the show. I will also provide a combination of predictions and wishful thinking about what I hope to see in the coming weeks.
The Miz def. Wade Barrett to win the Intercontinental Championship (Pre-Show)
Brief match, with The Miz defeating Wade Barrett to win the Intercontinental Championship. After their near-10-minute match on Raw a few weeks ago, I definitely expected this bout to go much longer than it did.
Furthermore, the pre-show was an hour long, so I don't understand why it wasn't given a few more minutes. The action was nice while it lasted, but the finish seemed to come out of nowhere, with Miz forcing Barrett to tap out to the figure-four leglock.
Nonetheless, I'm pleasantly surprised how loud of a reaction Miz received when he captured the title, especially since the strap hardly has any relevance nowadays. All I hope for now is for the Awesome One to not be as badly booked as Intercontinental Champion this time around, unlike his first run with the gold.
The Shield def. Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show
Solid match, with The Shield defeating Randy Orton, Big Show and Sheamus. It wasn't as exciting as The Shield's past matches, but it was still well-wrestled and a good opener.
I figured Shield would be going over, and that was telegraphed by the miscommunication between Orton and Show. It's another huge win for the threatening trio, but where do they go from here?
Also, I would've liked to see Orton turn heel instead of Show, but perhaps that comes later down the road.
Mark Henry def. Ryback
Disappointing match between Ryback and Mark Henry. This was one of the matches that I was actually looking forward to going into the event, so I was a bit let down by what we ended up getting.
Of course, I wasn't expecting a five-star classic, but the match basically consisted of strikes and simple holds. As much as I like Henry, it was a mistake to have him win here, as Ryback hasn't scored a victory on pay-per-view since July.
Any momentum the World's Strongest Man garnered from this win was tarnished once Ryback delivered a Shell Shock to him, which should have come in their next encounter, since Ryback didn't win here.
WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No def. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston w/AJ Lee
Decent match, with Team Hell No successfully defending their WWE Tag Team Championships against Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston. Langston looked impressive in his in-ring debut, while Daniel Bryan and Ziggler were able to keep the action entertaining inside the ring.
Team Hell No emerging victorious doesn't do much for me, but it was probably the best choice. Ziggler shouldn't be relegated to the tag team division as he prepares to enter the World Heavyweight Championship picture sooner rather than later.
There wasn't anything necessarily wrong with this bout, but it simply felt like something you'd see on an episode of Raw, which was a common theme throughout the night.
Fandango def. Chris Jericho
Nice match between Chris Jericho and Fandango. I expected a bit better from these two, given their tremendous talents, but it was fine for what it was.
Jericho loses nothing from taking the loss here, while Fandango picks up a victory that is crucial to his character. It didn't quite meet my expectations, but it served its purpose in putting Fandango over.
World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez def. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter
Good match, with Alberto Del Rio successfully defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Swagger. I realize that Swagger was going to get punished for his DUI charge sooner or later, but not televising his entrance at WrestleMania is simply unacceptable.
That alone did not make him look like a threat to the World title, and neither did Zeb Colter's pre-match promo. Del Rio and Swagger put forth a great effort in this match, but no one seemed to care—and who can blame them?
This feud has been brutally boring, and neither guy should be in a World title match at 'Mania at this point in time. Del Rio retaining the title is not intriguing whatsoever, and I was shocked that WWE didn't take this opportunity to have Dolph Ziggler cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.
I understand he'll cash in at some point, but it would have had more of an impact here, on the grandest stage of them all.
The Undertaker def. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman
Excellent match between Undertaker and CM Punk that felt WrestleMania-worthy and helped the save the show. Not only that, but the respective entrances for Punk and Undertaker were extremely awesome and amongst some of the best I've seen in years.
These two have never had amazing chemistry in the ring, but they managed to make all the near-falls and frantic finishers feel suspenseful. Sure, it may not have surpassed 'Taker's recent Mania matches, but it didn't need to.
Despite the lackluster buildup, this match was an absolute blast and by far the best of the night. The Deadman's matches are almost always predictable at the show of shows, but that doesn't take away from the fact that they never fail to steal the show.
Triple H w/Shawn Michaels def. Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman
Strong No Holds Barred match, with Triple H defeating Brock Lesnar to save his career. This was a much better match than their SummerSlam encounter, which is probably due to the fact that weapons were allowed and involved this time around.
The crowd was dead silent for this bout, but this contest faced the tough task of following Undertaker vs. CM Punk. Nonetheless, they made good use of the surrounding environment and incorporated a number of cool spots.
The Sweet Chin Music from Shawn Michaels was a nice touch, but I would have liked to see him get involved in the action a bit more than he did. Triple H's win could be seen coming from a mile away, and I don't think it was the smartest choice.
He only wrestles twice a year as it is, so why would it matter if he was forced to "retire"? Lesnar, on the other hand, will be sticking around for the next two years at the very least, so this loss does damage to his character, aside from the fact that he looked strong in defeat.
John Cena def. The Rock to win the WWE Championship
Entertaining match, with John Cena defeating The Rock to win the WWE Championship. I'm not sure if it was just me, but the entrances for both Superstars felt rushed and anticlimactic compared to last year's show.
The action early on was nothing special, and the live crowd didn't seem to care for it, either. However, they came alive down the stretch during the various false finishes, so that was good to see.
The final few minutes were very well done and kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Playing back to the finish of last year's bout was a fantastic touch that I really enjoyed.
Cena winning shouldn't have come as much of a shock to anyone, but I couldn't help but feel something else was missing. I figured we'd get Rock and Cena hugging it out at some point, but it just doesn't make sense to me with all the trash talk the two exchanged over the last two years.
Cena hasn't held the title in a year and a half, but what fresh faces are there left for him to face? Here's hoping they find someone credible for him to work with soon, otherwise his title reign will be a complete flop.
Overall, a lackluster show that mostly met my low expectations of not being an extraordinary event. The undercard was boring at best, and the only match worth watching was CM Punk vs. Undertaker, as everything else just seemed to fall flat.
I didn't mind that they cut the eight-person tag team match, but it is a slap in the fact to the competitors involved, especially Team Rhodes Scholars. I also found it strange that "America the Beautiful" wasn't sung at the start of the show, yet they had time for a Diddy performance anyway.
The Hall of Fame segment was classy, but even that felt more rushed than usual. I didn't have high hopes going into this 'Mania, so I can't say I'm disappointed, but I was certainly expecting a surprise or two.
The biggest flaw of them all was the fact that nothing on this show made me want to tune into Raw on Monday night. WrestleMania is supposed to signal an end of an era and the start of new beginnings, but I didn't get that feeling with this show.
Fingers crossed: This means that next year's WrestleMania 30 event will be off the charts in order to make up for it.