I like everyone else just watched WrestleMania 27 and while it wasn’t the worst PPV I have ever seen (this year) there were certainly a whole lot of things wrong with it. From the bottom of the card to the top, planning and execution was bad and I don’t think there is any real excuse for it. Now obviously I can’t pretend to understand the complexities of running a live event the size of WrestleMania. What I can say however is that WWE do and should still know how to do it right.
First off, the order: I don’t know who Sheamus and Bryan have pissed off but they must be pretty annoyed to not even get on the actual show itself. I don’t know if it was for timing reasons or political ones but this made no sense. Two of the hottest young talents that should have a big future in the business, who are meant to be having a title match just disappear. There was a no one cares battle royal though.
So what opened the card instead? The World Heavyweight Title match: I’m sorry but I really don’t get the thinking behind that. Actually I do.They wanted an unimportant title match with a face win to start the show and since Sheamus and Bryan clearly didn’t fit the bill this was all that was left. To me this was one of many disappointments of Wrestle Mania. It made so much sense for Del Rio to achieve his destiny but instead he just had a reasonably decent match with Edge. Nothing wrong with that except all the promise and momentum going in has now gone. The Royal Rumble was a waste. Del Rio hardly even acted upset at losing the match and Christian did nothing. All the possibilities between the three men hit a brick wall. Not only that but after the match a bunch of time was wasted on scratching a car. Given how much of a flop the match turned out to be and how short everyone was on time supposedly, I have to ask what the point was.
Next up was Cody Rhodes vs Rey Mysterio: Like we all suspected this was a good match. I wasn’t suprised Cody won and I enjoyed it for what it was. Considering I missed most of the build I think they did a good job. My only problem was Cole. How much of him talking is the heel character and how much is simply him being an asshole is hard to determine. Either way he spoiled most of the matches he called. I know everyone says he is the top announcer and pretty much eveyone else sucks but that is only because he talks over everyone. He always interrupts points people are trying to make which are often good and have something to do with the match, and his come-backs to jokes were terrible. To me Josh Matthews and someone with a bit more charisma like Booker T for example are a decent enough team. When J.R joined those two it was great so clearly they can do it.
I think Cody botched the ending by throwing the brace into the ring right in front of the ref which they then cut away from and it disappeared seconds later.
Next came The Corre vs Bigshow et al: I went to get a bite to eat and when I came back five minutes later it was over. Thank god for small mercies. A smart move, though why this wasn’t the dark match is a reasonable question to ask. Oh and The Corre took out Kozlov earlier in the day (not sure that got a mention) so Kofi was there.
Orton vs Punk next: This was one of the matches that supposedly got cut for time. That is a disappointment considering it was meant to be one of the few good matches on the card, again featuring two of WWE’s biggest names. Despite that both guys did good considering the circumstances. Allegedly Randy got mad whe he found out their place on the card and they were cut for time. Good to see he still has it in him. Again commentary was a let down, trying to argue who was more sadistic and yet more deserving of sympathy. Attacking Randy infront of his second fake wife wasn’t enough to make Punk the bad guy in my eyes. Hopefully Nexus is dead now.
Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger) vs Jerry Lawler: This match seemed to last forever. If there was one macth that could and should have easily been cut for time it was this. There were some nice moments here and there but it dragged on. Not quite as bad as Bret vs Vince but getting close. And what was the point of the screw you ending. I know when you retire you are meant to lose but since King didn’t announce his retirement why do this. No one wants more and this was meant to be the feel good match that did make you feel good so this must be a way of maintaining friction between the two. It also didn’t make any sense when you look at how many times Austin didn’t force a rope break when he should have when Cole was in control. The RAW GM needs to go. Commentary was good though.
Undertaker vs HHH: It was what we expected and a bit more. And HBK less. Again I know how important entrances are to Wrestle Mania and they were cool but if time is a factor couldn’t you speed things up. Some people don’t like the ending. I would say…
1) Undertakers shoulders were clearly both down for quite a while.
2) HHH may have walked out but he did dominate most of the match which the build up suggested he could and would.
3) He still tapped out. If he was that dedicated to looking tough wouldn’t he just pass out.
And finally it only played out like it did so at least one of them can take time off and probably set up a retirement match down the line. It was knd of a shame Shawn wasn’t involved but at the same time I have never liked the idea of him having one more match with Hunter. As I have said before, when you go out like he did (the last run, WM 26 and the RAW after) going at it one more time would ruin things in my opinion.
Again WWE were smart to cut the mixed tag down: It was quick and Morrisons Starship Pain to the outside was cool. Even Snooki suprised me and looked good or at least more mobile than I expected.
FINALLY THE MAIN EVENT: The Miz (with Alex Riley) vs John Cena. THIS WAS TERRIBLE. The Miz’s video package was really good and I think did more to build him up as a top guy than anything WWE had done since he became Champion. That said when he came to the ring he wasn’t his normal self. Then came the choir for Cena’s entrance. I feel sorry for them and a lot of people say they only go booed because people hate Cena. WELL THEN DON’T HAVE HIM COME OUT TO AN ENTIRE CHOIR THEN! It was staggering to watch beacuase of how ludacris it was and how obvious it was that it wouldn’t go down well. Neither Vince nor Cena are masters of subtlety but come on. At least his new T-shirt looks nice.
Now I don’t know why Cena wasn’t happy but he clearly wasn’t. Again the lack of time theory comes into play. I’m sure some will say it is because he was going to lose but he has lost big matches before. He is also no matter what you think a renowed pro. I think if he had to lose to help Miz and get a match against Rock out of it he would be fine with that. His video package reminded me of the one just before he got ‘fired’ when he was the guest ref which should have been a sign. Either way the match was meh. It was atleast 60% Miz all the way through(again). The interferences from Riley did sometimes seem rushed or uneeded ike they had to cram it all in. The first ending was stupid and we all knew what would happen. When Rock re-started and said NO DQ my hopes were high but Cena supermanned up for twenty seconds and I was worried. But then Rock cost him the match and again it felt like an enternity was spent on Rock not doing much than beating up Miz. Goodnight.
I don’t think time is a good enough excuse. WWE had an extra hour of uninterrupted commercial free air to fill and messed it up. If this show was a normal three hour show then yeah I can understand the rush to get it all in on time, but considering how many matches there were, how many were really filler or simple blow off matches there isn’t a reason they couldn’t have put things together better. Have WWE forgot? Have they spent too long doing the same old boring stuff that when it is time to step their game up they just fall flat. I think the worry is that like so many things WWE does nowadays they either don’t really know or care about doing things properly so fans go home happy and that is something I never thought I would see. When you get ‘Bullshit!’ chants and you aren’t Vince Russo or Eric B, you need to take a long hard look at yourself.