Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Post-WrestleMania XXVIII Thoughts.

Please don’t take the fact that I’m posting this before my recap of Friday night’s Platinum Championship Empire Wrestling show to mean I place more importance on WWE’s offering or hold it in higher regard. Believe me – I don’t. This weekend just ended up being crazy.
I forgot my camera Friday night and had to use my phone to take pictures, then Mrs. Troublemaker’s when my battery died. For some reason it is a huge pain in the ass to transfer pictures from my phone to the computer and I just haven’t had time to do it yet, so I don’t have my visual references to help out my weak recapping skills. But hang in there. Hopefully it’ll be up tomorrow or Thursday.

You might wonder why I need pics for PCW and not for WrestleMania. It’s because I just don’t care as much about doing WrestleMania justice. It certainly didn’t do much to deserve my diligence Sunday night.
You can check out my pre-WrestleMania thoughts here, or just dive right in. This is more of a post-event collection of my thoughts than a proper recap. If you want one of those, you should check out Rick Scaia’s over on Online Onslaught. It is beyond a shadow of a doubt the very best available. The guy doesn’t write much anymore, but when he does it is still golden.
I will say that we had a heck of a turnout at Stately Troublemaker Manor Sunday night and were going to have fun regardless of what WWE offered us.
Lillian Garcia kicked things off with her usual awesome rendition of the National Anthem. Hers is still my favorite by far, regardless of her inability to remember wrestler’s names. I was happy to see her, as I had made a number of snide comments about which shitty R&B act WWE would choose to open the show. Unfortunately, the shitty R&B would come later.
Sadly, another of my predictions came true. The opening match was Daniel Bryan defending his World Heavyweight Championship against Sheamus.

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (C) for the World Heavyweight Championship
The bell rings and Daniel Bryan (conspicuously – usually he does this pre-bell I think) goes to get his good luck kiss from AJ. As soon as he turns around, Sheamus hits him with the Brogue Kick and gets the pin, winning the title in 18 seconds.
Obviously this was a massive disappointment. I was pretty excited about this match, as Sheamus is a very solid big man and Bryan is one of the best wrestlers in the world today. I can’t think of a single reason why this had to happen when we had a worthless Diva match, a fucking dance routine, and TWO shitty musical performances on the remainder of the card. I did not pay sixty-five fucking dollars to see Flo Rida and whoever the two idiots were that played John Cena in previous to John Cena’s actual theme music playing. I was really pissed off when the match went down like that, but I was even more pissed when the PPV ended and I knew exactly how much pointless fluff they scheduled rather than having an actual match between two gifted athletes for what should technically be the most prestigious Championship in the company (yes, I know it is technically meaningless, but it could be argued that the World Heavyweight Championship has the most impressive lineage in wrestling today).

Kane vs. Randy Orton so that Orton can get his WrestleMania paycheck
This match would have been perfectly acceptable as a top-of-the-hour match on Smackdown. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t special by any definition of the word. I was impressed that Kane won until I remembered that the last time Kane did anything useful was when he starred in a horror movie that everybody but me and the missus hated.

Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes (C) for the Intercontinental Championship
This match was only slightly better than the last one. Cody and Show both worked hard and told a pretty good story. Show won with the punch, which I do not like. This would have been a good opener.

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos (sp?) vs. Beth Phoenix & either Eve or Rosa (I can’t remember who is who; the non-hot one that sounds like a penguin farting when she talks is the one that was in this match)
Whatever. This wasn’t even for the stupid Flying Pink Vagina Championship. There were a couple of cool spots, like the one that ended up on Maria Menounos’ ass after she rubbed it in Eve/Rosa’s overly-made-up face. The Maria chick is some kind of talk show host or something. She didn’t look like a complete fool in the ring is about the best thing I can say about her. This match was a complete waste of time.
Oh, and obviously the talk show chick pinned Beth Phoenix. Because any opportunity to humiliate one of the two actual wrestlers in the WWE women’s division will never be passed up.

Triple H vs. Undertaker w/ Shawn Michaels as referee in the Hell In A Cell
I’m still pissed about two things – the needless and expectation-raising addition of the Hell In A Cell cage and the equally needless and outcome-tainting addition of Shawn Michaels as the referee.
It’s also worth noting that the Cell had its’ own entrance music – “The Memory Remains” by Metallica, meaning that the Cell has the same worth as Sandman in the minds of WWE Creative. I don’t agree. That Cell has been way more entertaining than Sandman ever was.
This match would have been exactly what it needed to be without Michaels and the Cell. It was good, dramatic, and managed to have a couple of pretty sick bumps. The only thing Michaels added to the match was standing around looking like he was going to cry the whole time. His role was stupid. All I cared about was whether or not Taker was going to maintain his streak. I didn’t give a shit about Michaels’ post-career ego problems.
There were the expected shenanigans and twists with Michaels, some of which were entertaining and some of which were just confusing. There was an absolutely sick spot where Triple H spinebustered (as far as I’m concerned that is a word) Taker onto the steel steps. There was another spot where I honestly believed it was over (and got pissed) where Michaels hit Taker with Sweet Chin Music, followed up by a Pedigree from Triple H, followed by an attempted fast count from Michaels. But Taker kicked out. In the end, though, Taker hit a Tombstone and got the pin with certainty, going on to 20-0. One has to believe this match was his swan song, and deservedly so. The only thing that makes me question that likelihood is that the match just wasn’t quite as brutal as I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong – it was a very good match. But either Taker is in even rougher shape than I thought or he has one more for-real full time run left in him. Wouldn’t it be great if he came out on RAW (which has already happened by the time you read this and is twenty-three minutes in right now – I won’t see it until the morning while I am posting this) and declared he was going to unify the titles before his time was done?

Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny for the position of General Manager of RAW and Smackdown
I’m not going to bitch about this match being on the card, as it was a good way for a bunch of mid-carders to get WrestleMania paydays. But the execution could have been better. Did anybody doubt for a second that Team Johnny was going to win? Teddy Long had a team of fucking comedy wrestlers. I mean, don’t get me wrong – I love comedy wrestlers. But things were just a bit too lopsided in terms of actual talent in this match. Plus, the match itself just wasn’t very good. I went to the bathroom and wasn’t bothered by the idea of missing it.
While I was gone, Eve/Rosa distracted Zack Ryder. This allowed Miz to hit the Skull-Crushing Finale and pin Ryder, winning the match for Mr. Laryngitis (Spellcheck corrected his name to that and I’m leaving it because I think it is hilarious given his raspy delivery). At least Miz got over.

Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk (C) for the WWE Championship
I was more excited about this match than any other on the card and it delivered. I was satisfied with every single second of the match between my two favorite wrestlers of all time. Track it down and watch it. I would imagine this is the sort of combination of sports entertainment and wrestling that makes actual wrestlers want to go out and have kickass matches. It made me want to play one of the video games for the first time in a long time.
Before the match, newly-minted General Manager of all WWE TV John Laryngitis told Punk that if he got disqualified Jericho would win the title. So of course Jericho did everything he could to get Punk to lose control and make that happen. It totally justified Jericho’s taunting of Punk about his family and I am more than happy to admit that I was wrong for not liking it.
The sick spot of this match is one that is teased often and almost never followed through on. They did the bit where Punk was trying to suplex Jericho back into the ring from the apron. Jericho resisted and looked like he was going to reverse it, suplexing Punk out of the ring onto the floor. Usually at this point the guy in the ring would resist and bring the other guy into the ring, but Jericho won the battle and brought Punk up over his head and all the way from the ring down to the mats. It was fucking sick. I don’t think I’ve seen that more than one other time in thirty-plus years of wrestling.
But in the end, after at least ten minutes of intense back-and-forth action that could’ve ended with either man winning, Punk locked Jericho into a solid Anaconda Vise and the Paragon of Virtue had no choice but to tap.
After the referee signaled the end of the match, the camera zoomed in on the two exhausted warriors and caught something we were not meant to see – Jericho gave CM Punk’s head a little “that was a great match” scratch. It was very funny and touching and I feel like somebody’s going to get yelled at for us seeing it.

John Cena vs. The Rock
Before the match we had to endure a lot of fucking bullshit. First Broadus Clay came out and danced with a bunch of strippers dressed up as his mom. Seriously.
Then some fucking awful little tattooed white boy came out and performed the terrible WrestleMania theme song with some trashy pink-haired mess. I say that with a certain amount of contempt, as I feel that there is only room for one pink-haired mess in the pop music business; and also because I have dated a pink-haired mess in the past and it was no fun. Well, certain things were fun. Ahem. I muted this out of respect for my guests. After this display of just how awful modern music is concluded, Cena made his way to the ring.
And then more assholes came out to play more terrible music, which I also muted.
Finally… the Rock came back… the WrestleMania.
And shit was on, son.
This match delivered on every level. I’m not going to say much because I feel very strongly that you just need to see it, much like Rock/Hogan from WM 18 or – for entirely different reasons – Goldberg/Lesnar from WM 20. It was an electric experience. Watch it with a group if you can, preferably one with females.
It’s funny – usually when we host pay-per-views the wives, girlfriends, etc. have all made their way upstairs to have tea and scones and talk about knitting or whatever the heck it is they do. This time, though, they were all sitting downstairs watching the match just as intently as the males. Apparently the Rock possesses the same panty-moistening qualities as Prince.
Anyway, the match was just fantastically executed. Rock got blown up at the end, but whatever – it was the end. Cena went for the dick move of stealing The People’s Elbow and Rock hopped up and caught him with the Rock Bottom, getting the 1-2-3.
That makes two matches that utterly surprised me with their outcome. I thought for sure Cena was going over.
All in all this was a three match show. Taker/HHH, Jericho/Punk, and Rock/Cena all delivered; and the latter two delivered BIG TIME. You absolutely must see those matches. The rest of the card was basically throwaway as far as I’m concerned. But I sure did leave happy. At least, until the cable bill comes due.
-Phantom

2 comments:

  1. Cannot wait for it on DVD! I never order PPV but read the results first. My wallet is very happy!

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    1. If I care enough to see it, I care enough to see it live. Otherwise I pretty much take a pass. But glad I could help!

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