WWE WrestleMania 27: Reviewing the PPV for What It Was, and Nothing More

Josh McCainSenior Writer IApril 4, 2011

This morning as I fired up my computer and logged into Bleacher Report I wasn't sure what type of article I'd write about WrestleMania XXVII. With the sheer number of articles already up, I wasn't sure I'd be compelled to write one at all.

I mean, surely with the number of writers here on B/R, there would be several articles that articulate pretty much what I would.  I'm having a difficult time finding them.

It seems like the majority of the articles (if not all of them) that are getting featured buzz all seem to be taking a negative tone to last night's Mania.

Was last night Pay-Per-View great?  It certainly was not, but it was good and certainly entertained me and my guests.

To give you an idea of what my house was like last night, the ensemble consisted of myself, my friend Nelson, and his friend Mike.  All three of us are die-hard wrestling fans going back as far as our memories.

There was also my friend Keenan who hadn't watched wrestling in about 10 years, but since it was Mania and it was free, he was there.

Then there was my wife, who only watched because we spent 65 bucks on the PPV and she wanted to see what we were paying for.

And finally there was my two-year old son.  He just started watching wrestling a little over a month ago when he snuck out of bed and professed to me he couldn't sleep.

So as six o'clock rolled around and my guests began arriving, I fired up the grill, got the snacks out, and put the beer on ice because when I do Mania, I do it right.

As the Rock came out to open the show, we all had our burgers and were ready for the evening's events.

The Great One went a little long in his speech and honestly, I don't remember much of it because about half way through all of us began to talk about the events that would unfold and gave our predictions.

In spite of his long-windedness, it was good to see The Rock back at Wrestlemania, and even though a lot of people are killing his speech, I'll give him a pass just because it was The Rock.

After the People's Champ finished, I was surprised (and thankful) no one did a spit take when Alberto Del Rio was announced and Mania was starting with the "so-called" main event. 

We weren't quite sure which of the Superstars should feel more disrespected, Del Rio (your 2011 Royal Rumble winner) or the champ Edge.

However, we ignored the oddness of having the Heavyweight Title opening the show and quickly focused on the match.

We discussed our disappointment that the rumored triple threat match (which would have included Christian) didn't materialize, but then quickly moved onto that matter of Del Rio winning (even though we all agreed it was too soon for Del Rio to win the title) via some sort of heel turn by Christian.

Overall the match was good and all of us (including my wife and Keenan) enjoyed the match.  We were actually flabbergasted (great word) that Edge retained, since everyone in the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC) "knew" that Del Rio would win the belt.

There were two things I think hurt this match.  First, it was too early in the night for it.  None of us were settled in and ready for it.  We had just taken our first bite of hamburgers and I hadn't even cracked open my first beer.

The second thing that hindered this match was that Del Rio pulled at least two dirty tricks and still fell short of winning the title.  He hasn't been put over enough yet to lose in that fashion.  In spite of the good match, I felt he didn't get over at all.

Next up was Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio.  I felt there was very little hype for this match since the feud was only on Smackdown, but not only did both wrestlers give a nice build up to it (especially Rhodes) but they may have had the best match of the night.

The story behind it was compelling. The vain Rhodes believed his face was destroyed by Rey's knee brace (though there are no scars or damage to his face) and because of this belief, Rhodes now wears an opaque mask to hide his embarrassment.

Both men showcased their moves and abilities and the whole match was entertaining.  It also had a great finish with Rey using Rhodes' mask against him and then Rhodes turning the tables and using Rey's knee brace against him in order to get the win.

In spite of its early appearance on the card I was quite sure that I had just watched the match of the night (and I'd be proven right later on).

Also, did anyone else cheer when Rhodes caught Rey's legs in the attempted 6-1-9? I mean, it's about time.

Again, the wrestling purists in the room were entertained, the two casual fans liked it, and my son was going nuts and decided to copy Rey as he jumped off the couch with a flying body press that landed with perfection on my back.

Next up, we had The Corre vs. a collection of faces (Big Show, Kane, Santino, and Kofi).  I hadn't heard about Vladimir Koslov's injury so I was pleasantly surprised when Kofi's music hit.

Since Day 1, I've been impressed with Kingston, and I think with the right push he could take over the title of Mr. Wrestlemania.

However. my excitement was quickly diminished when the match became a squash.  Quite literally, if you blinked, you missed it.

In fact, when Kofi hit the Trouble in Paradise almost immediately, I knew there was trouble at Mania.

After the three count, I quickly turned to Mike and Nelson and asked, "Is this an elimination tag match?"

Before they could answer the ring announcer was already declaring the good-guys the winners.  I was shocked and sadden that so much talent was getting wasted in that match.

The only highlight really was when Kofi did the spinning kick to the outside of the ring.  In spite of the squash, that move was beautiful.

Everyone in the room (expect for my son) was disappointed in the match, and we all thought it was quite pointless to be included on the card.

Up next was Orton vs C.M. Punk.  Overall, this was a very well-wrestled match. Had there been more time allotted for it, the match could have been the best of the night (and a possible Match of the Year candidate).

Both wrestlers did what they could with the time and gave a great match.  There were enough false finishes to keep us guessing and the RKO that ended it was well-timed and exciting.

Once again, everyone in the room enjoyed the match; in fact, the two men packed so much into the short match that nobody (at the time) realized just how short it actually was.

 I was really looking forward to the next match. I wanted Lawler to squash Cole and see Stone Cold hand out a pair of stunners to Cole and the All-American American Jack Swagger.

While Swagger got his stunner, the rest of what I wanted didn't really happen.  Lawler, though he got in some good shots, didn't squash Cole (thanks to Swagger and Cole's running).

Then we had Cole tapping out to the Ankle Lock (though I did enjoy Austin asking several times if Cole gave up even though Cole was yelling that he did) and after that we had the ceremonial tossing of the beer can celebration to Stone Cold.

I will say I enjoyed Booker T getting into the ring and doing the Spin-a-Roonie only to get a beer and then get stunned (BTW, way to sell it with the bounce and foot on the rope Booker, you made me proud).

Even though I enjoyed it, if this match and celebration would have been cut down we would have gotten to see the U.S. Title match (which I was looking forward to).

No one in the room really paid attention to the match itself, we all kind of chit-chatted amongst ourselves and made fun of Cole's pot-belly and stupid tattoos.

Also having the Raw General Manager DQ Lawler was completely stupid.

it was at this point in the night, I was thinking "wow, Vince must have high hopes for the U.S. title match if it's going on this late in the show.

Then they started running vignettes for the Taker vs Triple H and I knew the fate of the U.S. title match was sealed.  Nothing, other than the WWE Title match (and a celebrity match) would follow this.

Another match that a lot of people are complaining about (mostly those who hate Triple H) was Triple H vs. The Undertaker.

Before I get into my opinion (and the opinion of my guests for this match) let me set a bit of the record straight here.  Most of the complaints about this match are that Triple H (being Vince's son-in-law) was simply showcasing himself here and burying the Undertaker.

To these people (again mostly Triple H haters) I say you're wrong.  Taker can't do it anymore.  The last two years the best in the business had to carry him.  Also, not only is Shawn probably the best performer in WWE history, but he also is probably the best at putting others over.

Triple H, though good in his own right, is no HBK.  He can put guys over, but he can't carry a match like Shawn can.  So instead of having a match where two aging stars try and trade blows and both get tired out quickly, WWE went a different direction and showed how mystical the streak was.

After the chair shots, Tombstones, and Pedigrees (not to mention all the outside-the-ring stuff), Taker would not stay down for the three-count.  Also after Taker kicked out of the Tombstone, Triple H really sold it well with the look on his face and the way he quickly backed away.

Unlike (what seems like) everyone, I liked the Hell's Gate win and Taker needing assistance to leave.  It showcased just how much the Streak means to the Undertaker and what he'll go through to keep it.

Also, I'm not too sure all of that was faked.

Near the beginning of the match Taker did his vintage dive over the top rope and didn't appear to land correctly.

And by correctly, I mean he grazed Triple H and did a face plant on the floor.

From that moment on Taker didn't look quite right.  I don't know if he was selling something or what, but all of us in the room felt he was off and probably hurt (which could also be why Triple H handed out such a beating).

Whether Undertaker needed the stretcher or not, I'm going to conclude that he was indeed hurt by the match's end.

Overall, we all liked the match and felt that it pulled off what it was trying to do and that beating the Undertaker (no matter how much you dominate him) at Mania is indeed an impossible task.

I'm not going to say too much about the mixed tag match other than I hope Trish comes back for at least one match against Michelle McCool; those two actually looked really good together opening up the bout.

I loved Morrison's springboard moonsault to the outside of the ring.

And lastly Snooki's athleticism at match's end really did impress me.

That said, I would have liked to see Morrison in a singles match and I really wished the US Title match would have happened.

Now we get to the WWE title match.  A match we all knew the Rock would get involved with in some form or another.

This match had its high points and really low points.

First off, the Miz really did bring it.  This is probably the most aggressive I've ever seen him and I was impressed how he held his own.

Cena was Cena.  Limited move-set but each move was delivered with so much force it shook the ring and the Georgia Dome.

The double count out was lame and almost pissed off everyone in the room (and probably the Georgia Dome), but we knew the Rock would come down and rectify it.

I enjoyed him telling a computer that it didn't matter what it thought and then restarting the match, but I didn't like the quick end to it.

I felt that him running in on the normal match and screwing Cena would have been better instead of just restarting it and staying in the ring to deliver the Rock Bottom.

Also, WWE has once again delivered a blow to the title reign of the Miz. 

He had a good match with Cena but still needed the Rock to save him in order to retain the title.

In spite of holding the gold for more than 200 hundred days he still feels like a transition champ instead of the top heel on Raw.

So the overall rating to Wrestlemania XXVII by a two-year-old, two casual fans, and three die-hards was that is was a good Mania.

There were spots that could have been better and other than the squash match and the Cole match, every performer lived up to the Mania hype. 

I had felt that this was a down year for Mania going into the event but when it ended I felt it out performed my expectation.

Of course everyone is going to have their own opinion about Wrestlemania.  There were some good moments and some bad ones, but it definitely wasn't as terrible as some people are saying it was.

Quick update:

Just read over at PWinsider.com (http://www.pwinsider.com/article/56717/wrestlemania-dark-match-result.html?p=1) that the US Title match was a dark match before Mania went on the air.  It was a lumberjack match that ended in a no decision.

Teddy Long came down and made it a battle royal (PWI doesn't say if it was for the title) (It wasn't-ED.).  In the end, the Great Khali won (really?).

I know Mania is "only" four hours long.  Why couldn't this match have been televised? 

We need Sunday Night Heat back more than ever so these pre-PPV matches can be seen.  I mean honestly, I would have like to have seen this match.


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