Sunday, April 8, 2012

WrestleMania XXVIII REACT!

WrestleMania XXVIII is in the books, and we have a new leader in the Head 2 Head competition here at Two Spot Monkeys! Tom went 5-3, while Jim went 4-4 in his picks, so Tom takes the lead, 12-8 to 11-9. Let’s see how we do in Extreme Rules later this month (which Jim will be attending live!). Let’s take a look at our reaction to Wrestlemania (and sorry for the delayed REACTion)!


All in all Wrestlemania was a good show to me, it had three really strong matches, and some ok work underneath. What kept it from being a “great” show was the first match.

I absolutely HATED the Daniel Bryan/Sheamus “match”. 18 seconds? Really? This isn’t Kane and Chavo Guerrero. This is supposedly your top title on the Smackdown side of things. This is a guy who’s had the title since December and been defying the odds against your Royal Rumble winner. I could have dealt with a Sheamus win, and thought about picking that way, but let Bryan lead Sheamus to have a Wrestlemania Moment with a great match on the biggest show of the year, and instead, we got that crap. Just awful, short sighted booking. We’ll see where they go from here with Bryan, but it already appears he’s out of the title picture as it appears we’re going to Sheamus/Del Rio. UGH.

Kane/Orton was what I expected, until the finish. Kane goes over clean on Orton? Really? Wow, I sent a text to Tom after this match and asked “who’s booking this show?” I mean, it just made zero sense for Kane to go over clean here. He has bored the hell out of me since his return, and unfortunately it seems we get to continue this feud going forward into Extreme Rules. Snore.

Cody/Big Show was pretty ok, and while I’d love to have had Cody Rhodes get the big win, it was set up for Big Show to get the win no doubt. I did dig the new entrance gear for Rhodes, thought that was a great look for him. I hope Rhodes gets to move on to a bigger feud here next…I’d really like to see a Rhodes/Orton feud once Orton is done with Kane, I think that could be a fun feud and a good way to bring Rhodes along up the ladder.

The Divas tag was what it was. I was shocked they had an injured non-wrestler pin your Divas Champion in the middle of the ring. I get that the celeb has to win…but seriously, let her pin Eve after Kelly Kelly hits her finisher or something….come on. Again, short sighted booking. Why do I think Phoenix can beat anyone when an injured non-wrestler pinned her?

Then the show really, really picked up! Undertaker vs. Triple H was a great follow up to last year. Not sure that the cage was really needed, as they did very little with it, but I guess you really can’t just do No DQ again or anything. But, that’s a minor complaint really….the match had a ton of drama, and the ending was perfect, including the hugs between all three guys after.

The 12 Man Tag was placed here so that we had a break between big matches, which made sense, and it was what I expected. Johnny Ace looked totally like Brother Love in that crazy suit! As expected, Ace wins, and we get to see him every show now…awesome. Or not. Oh well, at least the guys got a payday!

Punk/Jericho told a really good story and built over time. You could tell they were going long when they started slow, but I was good with that. In the end, they had a great finish, and I loved Punk changing his angle on the Anaconda Vice so that Jericho couldn’t kick him anymore, made so much sense, and worked really well. I liked this match a lot, and had it ranked as the 2nd best match of the night after ‘Taker/HHH.

Brodus…well, he got a payday, that was nice.

Cena/Rock was a CRAZY atmosphere! I could have completely done without the concert pieces before the introductions though. Really, we had to have that? Cut that and at least give Bryan/Sheamus 5-6 minutes. I mean, they were terrible. Added NOTHING to the show, but then once the guys came out, the crowd reacted just as I figured they would. Super hot for Rock, and LOUD boos for Cena. All in all the match was fine for what it was, but no one should have expected a Flair/Steamboat classic here. It was about the atmosphere, which was off the charts. Really surprised that The Rock won, but in the end, I see where it made some sense…Cena kept calling him out, and Rock got to one up him.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like the show, but all in all I did. The three good matches out ranked the not so good, though the Bryan/Sheamus debacle (which may have killed this title run for Sheamus, we shall see) kept it from being great.


I had the opportunity to watch WrestleMania with a big (12 people) group this year. Much different from being in the Georgia Dome last year, but very fun nonetheless. Watching the show with people who have varying levels of interest and engagement in the product is always interesting and as long as they are there to enjoy themselves (they all were) versus crap on it, then I am game!

Show gets a definite thumbs up from me. I won’t go match by match like Jim, but I’d rate the top 3 matches as follows: Punk-Jericho, Rock-Cena and Taker-Triple H. They all were really, really good. To be honest, the endings with Punk retaining and Cena losing actually caught me by surprise. I felt, as I wrote before, that Jericho not winning the title was a bad move. That title and the moniker of “Best in the World” was his driving force since returning in January and then he could not win on the biggest stage. Would it have been feel good to the paying customer? No. Would it have likely made more sense to have it happen, even if dirty and set up Punk to challenge in a re-match for the belt in his hometown in Chicago at Extreme Rules? Very likely. But it did not go that route and I felt that both men looked fantastic. I look forward to the next chapter in this feud.

Rock-Cena was an epic match and lived up to its billing. Like Jim, I could have done without all of the musical entrances (and I am a big fan of the unique Cena entrances each year), but understand their place in the “WrestleMania Landscape.” Both guys just proved to be absolutely incredible at what they do and made magic in the ring. I had some serious doubts on if Rock could “Bring It” and he did. Rock getting the win does not make sense at all to me, especially if he is less of the WWE’s future than Cena, but I have to hold on to hope that it all transpired that way for a reason and it will make sense at some point.

Since the WWE has taught us to “never say never,” I hope that they actually hold to it with “The End of the Era” Match. It was a fitting ending to the story that has played out beginning at WrestleMania 25 and wrapping up here. Three true “Icons” in this sport got to have an incredible display and leave the fans with a memory that will linger on always. I had watched the original match between Taker and Triple H earlier in the day and felt that this really topped their previous effort. Sure, they mimicked much of the big moves from the first bout early, but it was done in a fantastic way that built everything and added such tremendous drama as it all unfolded. One very unique thing to me was the use of the cage (or lack thereof) and the amount of brutal chair shots delivered (and the physical toll that was taken). WWE does that so infrequently that when it does occur, it really means something big and fans then know that they are seeing something much different as part of the “WWE Universe.”

I will end my reactions there. The three biggest matches and memories that I take away from the show. I am eager to re-watch them again when the Blu-Ray DVD comes out in about a month.

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