Wrestlemania 26: The Aftermath
The first Raw and Smackdown after Wrestlemania are now behind us and the dust started to fall down after the biggest WWE show of the year.
Like any Wrestlemania before, the grandest stage of them all has shaken the WWE universe; we have witnessed the end of stories and new seeds have been planted for the coming year.
Let's take a look on the immediate impacts and on the long-term effects of this year's wrestling extravaganza. We now all know the results of the matches, but what will be remembered in 10 or 20 years? Here are some speculations about the possible bigger or smaller marks in WWE history books.
The matches with the least impact
Probably no one will remember the Divas match in two weeks and this match will have no impact at all anywhere. Vickie Guerrero even stained her late husband's legacy with her hog splash.
The match for the Unified Tag Team Titles won't let any mark in anyone's memory except maybe for being one of the shortest opening matches for a Wrestlemania; that squash match only displayed Big Show's dominance against mid-card wrestlers.
The match between Triple H and Sheamus was pointless and not Wrestlemania-caliber. The encounter was not so bad, but it gave nothing to Triple H and it didn't continue Sheamus' push; it more looked like a filler. It could have had an impact with a Sheamus' win or even with a beating on HHH while he was celebrating his victory.
After the sneaky attack on HHH on the following Raw, Sheamus might continue his feud with The Game, but Wrestlemania changed nothing between them.
The match with the best showdown
The CM Punk vs. Rey Mysterio bout has been a letdown after the amazing build up of the previous weeks. The story between them, personal and intense, created very high expectations, particularly with the result if Mysterio couldn't win. It would have been an unforgettable angle if he had joined the Straight Edge Society.
But, no, the creative team preferred to give the win to Mysterio for a useless Wrestlemania encounter.
Now, will there be any interest from the fans for a continuing feud between them?
The screwed match
The Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon showdown has been the biggest letdown of the decade, if not of all WWE history.
Everything was there to get a decent historic match. No one expected a great technical bout, but at least a memorable street fight between two bitter enemies. The showdown, without being awesome, was very interesting with its historic background; it was a match presented as one with 13 years in the making.
Instead of a grudge match between the two men who hate each other, all we got has been a beating of McMahon by the whole Hart clan. No one wanted to see a 10-on-1 handicap match.
Everyone wanted and expected Hart to exact revenge from McMahon, but one on one, in a real battle in which both opponents would throw hits. Such beating didn't meet Wrestlemania's quality standard.
That one-sided handicap match didn't help Bret Hart to put a glorious final touch on his legacy. Fortunately, history books will remember the result, but that's it; the match itself will be forgotten before the next Wrestlemania.
Money in the Bank...already cashed
As usual, since its conception, this ladder match was great to watch. A lot of stunts, a lot of action, but nothing really outsanding as in the previous MITB.
The biggest shock about this year's edition of that match has been when Jack Swagger emerged as the winner. I guess the crowd was speechless with their lower jaw on the floor because it was so silent in the attendance.
One of the biggest surprises of the year could only happen at the biggest annual WWE show. Many fans are happy about this win and it came out of nowhere.
Even more shocking, Swagger is already the new World Heavyweight Champion. It seems WWE wanted to please the old school and "purist" fans with this fresh champ. The All American American finally got his chance to shine and to display the great athlete he is. Hopefully, he will have a decent reign so he can be really launched as a future permanent main-eventer in WWE.
The end of Legacy—the New Age of Orton?
The triple threat match involving Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, and Ted DiBiase won't be remembered for the bout itself, but for the result. With nothing on the line, not even a title shot for the winner, there was almost no interest from the fans.
The match was predictable with Rhodes and DiBiase teaming against Orton until both young superstars wanted the pin on their leader. From this point, it was a done deal and Orton dominated his apprentices until a punt on Rhodes and a RKO on DiBiase for the pin.
Despite the match itself brought almost no reaction in the crowd, the fans went crazy when Orton did his famous pose at the end of the bout. If the face turn for Orton was not clear at Wrestlemania, there has been no doubt about his turnover. Now, let's hope WWE won't make him a babyface; he would be so great as a tweener. A face with attitude is one thing WWE is missing lately so it might be the beginning of something epic.
The Clash of the Titans II
They've already did it once, but not on a Wrestlemania stage...
Two of the most notorious icons in today's WWE went in a match in which they both delivered all they could. Their many fans have been well served and even the "Anti-Cena" and the "Anti-Batista" won't have much negative stuff to say about their performance.
With their respectable showdown, they have concluded an other chapter between them. Now, let's see when the two titans will meet again. In the end, that match will have reinforced both status, one as top heel and other as top face.
The unexpected conclusion
An event several months in the making prepared the fans for a long feud between Edge and Chris Jericho. After his win at the Royal Rumble, it was written in stone that Edge would face Y2J at Wrestlemania for a title.
The return of the now-beloved Ultimate Opportunist was meaning a feud with Jericho. It was the perfect scenario after both, as reigning Tag Team Champions, have their alliance broken up.
Has the plan been changed after Y2J has been called to be on a jury? Did that uncontrollable event in the champion's real life prevent Edge to win the title to allow Swagger to cash in against a heel?
Or it might simply be a twist to make their feud without the title in the picture?
Who knows...In any way, it seems their story will be on the hold while Jericho plays on the injury angle (broken ribs? maybe).
Career vs. Streak
In one of the biggest rematch of all time, Shawn Michaels has put his storied career on the line against The Undertaker's legendary streak. If that match was not the best of all times, it was certainly one of the most anticipated match in wrestling history.
Something had to end on that night and we all know the result. An era is now over and The Undertaker is the last survivor of the early '90s golden age.
18-0...The Undertaker's streak still alive
The Undertaker's unique legacy, more important than any amount of Title reigns, is still building stronger. However, with an aging Phenom, we all wonder when this streak is going to end.
Shawn Michaels has left the building
A legendary career is now in the History books. HBK will always be remembered for his legendary career and for his unmatchable presences on the Greatest Stage of them All. No one will ever forget why he's Mr. Wrestlemania.
His accomplishements could fill thousands of pages. From the Rockers to DX and from World Champion to commissioner, he has done everything to revolutionize the pro wrestling business.
From the first ladder match to the Montreal Screwjob, The Heartbreak Kid is a full chapter of the WWE history.
The Showstopper has hand picked his opponent to close the casket on his outstanding, unique career (pun intended).
Thanks to Shawn Michaels for all those years of entertainment.
A last thanks to HBK
One of the greatest wrestler and entertainer of all time!
You will be missed!