Sunday, April 1, 2012

WWE Wrestlemania 28 Results and Recap


Finally…Wrestlemania 28, the grand daddy of them all is upon us. The Super Bowl, The World Series and Stanley Cup Finals of sports entertainment hails from the hottest party city in the U.S. - Miami, Florida at SunLife Stadium. 360+ days ago, Vince McMahon decided to actually try once again (after taking a few years off with his PG nonsense) to bring popularity back into pro wrestling by booking John Cena versus the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It seemed like that day would never come, but after the Summer of Punk 2.0, the failed return of Kevin Nash, Zack Ryder becoming a surprise superstar, Daniel Bryan becoming an over heel, and other notable fillers, we have finally arrived! The big match aside, the creative team has constructed one of the most interesting and exciting Wrestlemania cards in some time. Will they pull it off or is this another balloon that will deflate the WWE as well as our wallets? Let’s get to ringside…

(disclaimer: last-minute added matches will not have any pictures or descriptions and only the results. Formatting on the fly while I am trying to watch the PPV is a pain)

 WWE Tag Team Championship Match:
Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd vs. The Usos vs. Epico & Primo (champs)
Even though this match was free to watch on YouTube during the 'Mania pre-show, it is still included in this report since it is technically a Wrestlemania match. And it's a championship match, so why not document it? There is no build for this one, considering that Kidd and Gabriel are a team all of sudden (did Kidd turn face or did Gabriel turn heel?), but the Usos and the tag champs always have interesting bouts...and best of all for us, it's free!

Epico pinned an Uso after the Backstabber to retain the belts. Some good high flyin' action here and a nice little freebie to kick things off as the champs continue to be the most underrated workers on the roster. Plus they have Rosa Mendes!

Now What You Had To Pay For...

WWE World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (champ)
Bryan took his potential fluke championship victory gimmick, turned into a successful heel and has made himself into a champ people love to hate. Bryan's fans should be happy that his reign has lasted this long and that he should have shown his worth to WWE management during this time frame. However, Sheamus is HHH's real life buddy and has been pushed to the moon meaning that the road to Wrestlemania is almost a guarantee to mark the end of the road of D-Bry as champ. A title retain would be the biggest shock of the year.  

Sheamus sins the title in less than 10 seconds (announcers state 18 seconds) with the Brogue Kick. Well not only did the WWE rob us fans of a real championship match with this ridiculous squash, but they also embarrassed Bryan and buried his reputation. While HHH's buddy snagging the title is no real shock, hopefully this squash match had a purpose for positively affecting Bryan's character development post-title run.

Team Johnny is prepping for their match in the locker room. The Miz tries to give a pep talk which the rest of the team blows off. Then, John Lauriniatis comes in to give a real pep talk. 


"Because They Need to Have a Match" Match:
Kane vs. Randy Orton

With Sheamus and Bryan vying for the title and Cena using his hate to strike down the Emperor Kane, Orton and Kane are too big of stars to be left off the card. In a reach of a storyline, Kane has beef with Orton since he was beaten by Randy so badly last summer that Kane was humanized when he shook Orton's hand post-match. It has been eating at Kane for so long that he now needs to destroy Orton...but will more than likely eat a RKO or two or three. 

Kane wins with a Chokeslam from the top rope. About as good and formulaic as you'd expect out of Kane and Orton working together. There was really no build and some chants of "Boring!" broke out at one point, but it was exactly the level of brutality you were probably counting on. Unlike the finish, as Orton seemed all but a lock for victory.

Mick Foley and Santino Marella ate crabs as they shamelessly promoted the new season of Deadliest Catch,including Marella giving the Cobra to his meal and Foley giving Mr. Socko to his crustacean. This segment was saved when Ron Simmons went onto camera and delivered his patented "DAMN!"...summing up all of our feelings. 

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match:
Cody Rhodes (champ) vs. Big Show 
Rhodes has come a long way into becoming a great performer to watch in the ring and on the stick since he ditched the "disfigured" gimmick late last year on way to bringing back integrity to the IC strap. Meanwhile, he has been taunting Big Show relentlessly for his many WM failures, so the odds against retaining the belt are slim to none. Is this another chapter in the Big Show 'Mania failure book or will Show finally win one on the big stage?

Big Show pinned Rhodes to win the IC title after hitting the WMD. Pretty much expected this one after the ways Rhodes has abused Show for the last couple of months. Not a bad match out of both of these two especially considering their size difference. Anyways, we are two for three with title changes so far.

Shawn Michaels tells Matt Striker that he holds all the cards and that the fate of the man who ended his career is in the palm of his hands. Usual promo stuff we've been hearing.


Special Divas Tag Team Match:
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix (champ) & Eve 

Original plans for Phoenix versus Kharma or Natalya were scratched in favor of this attraction. Wrestlemania needs its mainstream stars after all, right? This came out of nowhere - Eve and Beth interrupted Menounos' interview with Kelly on her Extra program and challenged them to a WM fight after Maria mocked Beth for pinning her at the recent Salute to the Troops. This is for the pure eye candy factor as Maria looks oh so cute in wrestling gear. This one has to end with Maria getting the required celebrity pin.

Maria pinned Maria's legit injured ribs really slowed this match down and it was obvious that Beth and Eve were going easy on her. In usual format, Phoenix really made Kelly look good out there. 

Shawn Michaels tells Matt Striker that he holds all the cards and that the fate of the man who ended his career is in the palm of his hands. Usual promo stuff we've been hearing.

We are told that the crowd at SunLife has sent a new attendance record of 78,363!!! Then good ol' J.R. Ross  (who has lost a bit of weight) comes to ringside to join the announce team for...

"The End of an Era" Hell in a Cell Match:       
The Undertaker vs. HHH with Shawn Michaels as special referee 
It's good to be king, as HHH is able to book himself into another high profile match at 'Mania. Having Michaels involved will somehow determine how this is going to end...and how it will end is your guess as good as mine. Ending the 'Taker's streak should be used to elevate a young talent for the future, so hopefully Triple H goes 0-for-3 against the Dead Man. We can only hope that whatever happens, it is an old school and brutal Hell in a Cell match that is unlike the tame one from the awful Hell in a Cell PPV last year. 

Taker goes to 20-0 after hitting HHH with the last of many Tombstone Piledrivers! Lots of drama, great storytelling and false finishes much like in their last 'Mania match, only with multiple ref bumping and bloodletting from both men. Hats to both men for the physicality and no regard for their bodies as well as The Heartbreak Kid for not making the match too much about him. Thank goodness the DX/Klique-esque swerve pin attempt towards the end came up short. Props to having JR call this one, giving it an old era feel, as well as the HBK-Taker emotional embrace with each other at the match's end. Bonus points for the unintentional hilarity of Michaels retreating to the corner almost coming to tears after every near fall and devastating weapon shot thrown.

Heath Slater shows up in front of Flo-Rida's dressing room, calling him "Florida". Finally, the rapper comes out and shoves him hard into the wall, knocking him to the ground. Then, Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins come out and semi-heckle Slater's fail. Very awkward unneeded and unfunny time filler.

Howard Finkel announces the 2012 Hall of Fame Class (Mil Mascaras, the late Yokozuna's family, Ron Simmons, Ric Flair/Barry Windham/Tully Blanchard/Arn Anderson/J.J. Dillon as the 4 Horsemen, Mike Tyson, and Edge).

"Battle to Be the GM" Tag Match:
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny
The feud between Smackdown GM Teddy Long and Raw GM John Lauraniatis will come to an end as the team who wins will decide who is going to be the GM for both shows in this 12-man tag battle. Long has his captain Santino Marella along with Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Great Khali, and Booker T, while Johnny has his captain David Otunga along with Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre (replacing the injured Christian), and The Miz. Great talent in a potentially great match, but I am sure some swerve is going to happen, with Team Johnny coming out on top. Come on, the heels have to win some matches at 'Mania after all.

Team Teddy secured the win after Miz hit Zack Ryder with the Skull Crushing Finale. Eva distracted Zack and the ref when he went for the Broski Boot causing the Miz to apply his finisher. After the match, Eve lowblow-ed Ryder to show that she was on Team Johnny and against Zack all along. I know, big shocker (sic). "Operation Bury Ryder" is alive and well in the WWE.

Johnny and his team celebrate as they walk by a disgruntled CM Punk. New All GM Johnny L. tells Punk that if he gets DQ'ed for "brawling" instead of wrestling, then Y2J wins the title, so he has to be careful.

"Best in the World" WWE Championship Match:
CM Punk (champ) vs. Chris Jericho  
Everyone is finally getting their dream match of Punk vs. Jericho. What started out as a tepid feud turned more interesting once Jericho started the insults of Punk's family real life substance abuse issues. Besides all of the soap opera stuff, these are two great performers who are looking to have a phenomenal bout and could possibly steal the thunder from Rock-Cena. Jericho is about to take another absence to perform with his band Fozzy, so it looks like Punk is keeping the strap...but it will be fun to see them go at it from a pure wrestling aspect. Now the added stipulation of Punk losing the strap due to DQ reeks of a B.S. finish that would kill what could be a great match between these two.

Punk retained the title after making Jericho tap to the Anaconda Vice. Easily the match of the night and the pure 5-Star Classic we were all promised. Thankfully the DQ lameness did not factor into the outcome and hopefully this feud is far from over. These guys could easily put on another clinic worth the price of admission alone.

Funkasaurus comes out to the stage and tells everyone to get their phones out and call their mommas...including himself. His momma tells him that she is backstage with her bridge club, so she comes out and gets funky with the rest of her bridge club. Mind you, his momma and the club were some young chicks dressed up in a gray wigs, house dresses and a fake ba-dunk-a-dunks. A bit strange, but it was good to see Clay somehow included on the card.

MGK raps and then Cena enters the ring. Then, Flo-Rida raps and The Rock hits the ring. This wastes about 15 minutes of viewers' paid time they could have seen another match to build young talent, but oh well...


The Main Event:
John Cena vs. The Rock
What seemed truly eye-rolling last year is now a must-see matchup. These two have legit heat towards each other and have been attacking one another on WWE TV, in interviews and on social media. The last month of promo-cutting out of these two has truly been awesome, and by all accounts, the match should be just as good or better. 

 The Rock defeated Cena with the Rock Bottom as Cena went for his own version of the People's Elbow. As predicted, Cena was heavily booed and Rock cheered in the latter's hometown. The rap intro/entrances were ridiculous and there were too many "breaks" with Cena using bearhugs to the Rock's "injured ribs". These moments really took the fans out of the match early and often, only coming to life when Rock did anything. The false finishes gave it a little life at the end, but I cannot believe the WWE had Rock win this he goes back to L.A.


Not the best Wrestlemania ever but far from the worst, being leaps and bounds better than last year's in Atlanta. Most fun I have had watching a PPV since December. After the disappointing Bryan squash that was a disservice to both him and Sheamus, things went uphill. The Taker-HHH re-rematch was better than expected, the Diva celebrity match was short and painless, the 12-man tag match got exciting (minus the choice of jobber) after a slow start, the Punk-Jericho match was the second coming of Savage-Steamboat from WM III, and the main event held a great atmosphere, even though I expected much better. The finish was unexpected but the match itself was heavily upstaged by the WWE World Title Match. Worth the buy...but still cannot wait to see Brock Lesnar back. Maybe tomorrow night at Raw?


kim said...

WWE WRESTLEMANIA 28 The Rock VS John Cena Pics 2012

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