United States Championship: Lumberjack Match: The Great Khali wins
Khali beat (C) Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, R-Truth, William Regal, Ted DiBiase, Primo, Mark Henry, The Usos, Chris Masters, Drew McIntyre, Chavo Guerrero, Tyson Kidd, Evan Bourne, Yoshi Tatsu and JTG.
WrestleMania 27 comes to you from Atlanta, Georgia in front of 71,617. Holy crap.
We get “America the Beautiful” by Keri Hilson, followed by a WM27 video package. Hilson got a nice ovation.
Jerry Lawler, Josh Mathews and Michael Cole kick off the show as the announce team.
Out comes The Rock to a huge pop. We get a few glimpses at the set, which looks incredible. We also get to see how many fans are in the building, and the seats are filled right up to the rafters. There’s gotta be at least 70,000 people here. Anyways, Rock basically got the crowd involved and fired up for the show. He milked the cheers a fair bit and played with a crowd. “Finally, The Rock HAS COME BACK…to WrestleMania.”
He promises this will be the most memorable ‘Mania of all time, and asks if the crowd can feel and taste the electricity in the atmosphere. He says they’re making history right now, so they’re going to do something special and fun. He’s going to say ‘Wrestle’ and the fans reply with ‘Mania’. Wait, ‘wrestle’ isn’t a banned word anymore? He says he got goosebumps and calls out all the WWE Superstars, especially one who’s deciding which Fruity Pebble-coloured shirt he’s going to wear. Ha! He then says ‘Yabba’ and the crowd says ‘Dabba’. Then he does his “in front of the millions” catchphrase. He says tonight is the showcase of the immortals, and tonight’s host will be the Brahma Bull himself. The crowd is absolutely eating him up. Rock starts his “if ya’ smell!” chant, but interrupts himself to say that it’s the most famous catchphrase in the world, and that it belongs to the people. He asks everyone to get on their feet, to feel the electricity and gets them to follow along with his “if ya’ smell” catchphrase.
They show a video package of past WrestleMania highlights. Lots of facetime for the guys like Austin, Rock, HHH, Taker. Big stress on the Attitude Era. They give us a glimpse of the Championship matches tonight, as well as Undertaker’s streak.
The WrestleMania pyro goes off, and Michael Cole welcomes us to ‘the fabric of Americana’ and the ‘pinnacle of entertainment.’
World Heavyweight Championship: (C) Edge d. Alberto Del Rio (***1/4)
Wow, this is the match that leads the show? Really? Why not Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus? You’d think a match of this magnitude means it’s one of the later matches–that is, unless, ADR loses–which he does. I honestly didn’t think Edge stood a chance winning this match. He improves to 6-4 at ‘Mania. I just don’t understand how you can book ADR so strong, have him win the Royal Rumble and all, and then have him lose at WrestleMania to an established guy who’s rep won’t be hurt by losing this match. As for the match itself, it was very nicely booked. Christian, Brodus Clay and Ricardo Rodriguez all got involved in the mach. Edge countered the Cross Armbreaker and got a two, which was a nice little spot. The finish was ADR break free from an Edge-ucator, but he ate a Spear for the pinfall in 11 minutes. Post-match, after some teasing, E&C destroyed ADR’s Rolls Royce with a crowbar. They scratched the paint, smashed the windows and windshield and banged up the hood. ADR did a good job of selling the devastation.
Cody Rhodes defeats Rey Mysterio (**3/4)
The crowd already seemed exhausted from the previous match, and they were pretty silent for this. It is a lower profile match by those standards, but that’s the problem with leading off with a heavily-anticipated match–you run the risk of tiring the crowd out. The pacing seemed a touch off in the match so I hope they clear that up in a future rematch. Cody ripped off Rey’s knee brace, and Rey pulled off Cody’s face mask. He looks like a crappy version of Richard Hamilton with that thing on. Rey landed some headbutts, but got hit with his own knee brace by Cody, who landed a Cross Rhodes for the pinfall.
Snoop Dogg is backstage with SmackDown GM Teddy Long. Snoop says he’s looking for talent for his upcoming tour, so Teddy introduces a lineup of WWE Superstars that want to audition, so Snoop sits down at a table and lets them go. William Regal starts rapping and asks if he’s gangster enough. Snoop says no. I agree. Khali and Beth Phoenix start singing “Summer Lovin’”. Zack Ryder starts singing “Friday” by Rebecca Black, which the crowd is enjoying, but Roddy Piper nails him in the head with a coconut. Chris Masters starts doing his pec dance to “We Will Rock You” by Queen as Yoshi Tatsu sings it. I’m never going to listen to that song the same again. After Snoop and Teddy leave, Hornswoggle puts on some sunglasses and starts dancing with the Bellas. Now, somebody please explain to me the significance of this segment. It didn’t advance storylines, and it wasn’t funny. Why air it? Hell, give Christian and Evan Bourne a 60-second match instead of this. I feel like an idiot for having written this much for such a stupid segment.
Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella & Kofi Kingston d. The Corre (1/2*)
Ugh. Two minutes of my life I’ll never get back. Santino hit the Cobra on Slater, who then got KO’d by Big Show for the pinfall. They did the trombone celebration post-match. If you blinked, you probably missed it. And if you did, I envy you. Why even bother putting this on the card if you’re going to give it just two minutes? How do you justify having a ‘legit’ stable (I quote ‘legit’ because four people does not make a stable) that you’re trying to put over, lose to a four singles wrestlers slapped together? And WWE wonders why they can never develop any new Superstars. It’s kinda tough when Wade Barrett, a potential future WWE Champion, is losing WrestleMania matches to Santino. How can you even push Slater & Gabriel as a legit tag team if they keep losing?
Eve is feeling Rock’s biceps. I thought I was watching WrestleMania, not softcore porn. He says whoever comes through the curtain next, he’ll create a magical moment with. Lo and behold, Mae Young comes in. Rock calls her a Divasaurus, and she asks for the People’s Strudel. He gives a few more old jokes that before Eve walks Mae out, but not before she gives Rock a bum slap. Eww. Rock turns around and bumps into Stone Cold Steve Austin. AWESOME! I totally marked out. If seeing these two looking at each other doesn’t put a grin on your face from ear-to-ear, you don’t like professional wrestling. Rock asks if Austin is ready to kick some ass. He says oh yeah, and Rock says he’s going to bring it. They shake hands and exchange pleasantries before Austin leaves.
Randy Orton d. CM Punk (**1/4)
Much to my dismay, this was a slow-paced match. I really had high hopes for it, and it fell very short of my expectations. Both guys are great workers, especially Punk, and now that Orton has the opportunity to sell injuries, this match should’ve been great. Punk had some great facial reactions when Orton’s knee gave way again, and again when he evaded an RKO. Punk went for the springboard clothesline from the apron, but Orton caught him mid-air and landed an RKO for the pinfall.
The Rock is with “Mean” Gene Okerlund. Gene says it’s been an unbelievable WrestleMania so far–yeah, unbelievably average. Rock says things are about to get ugly–John Cena’s #1 fan is here, and out comes Pee Wee Herman. Rock asks if he wants to be on Team Bring It or on The Fruit Loop Troop. Hahaha, that’s awesome. They show Okerlund covered in Cena’s merchandise, so Herman says he wants to be on Team Bring It “if ya smell what the Pee is cooking.” Ugh, another pee joke?
WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2011
Howard Finkel introduces the 2011 class. Abdullah the Butcher, Sunny, Paul Ellering and Road Warrior Animal (representing the Road Warriors), Drew Carey (who got boo’ed), Bullet Bob Armstrong and Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Shawn Michaels comes out last to his entrance music and a huge ovation. If this is what WrestleMania’s are going to be like without Shawn Michaels in them, I’m going to need a lot of alcohol to get through the next few years.
Recap of this past Raw when Lawler took on Jack Swagger and was DQ’ed after pummeling Swagger with a chair. They show Lawler attacking the Cole Mine, as well as him getting splashed in the face with Cole’s drink.
Cole vs. Lawler is next, so the new announce team consists of Mathews, Booker T and Jim Ross. As Ross comes down the ramp, Cole comed out decked in Olympic wrestling gear. He starts chirping JR and Lawler before Austin and Swagger come down to the ring. Austin came speeding down in an ATV again (with 3:16 plastered along the side). He almost runs over Swagger and chases Cole back to the Cole Mine.
Michael Cole d. Jerry Lawler via DQ (1/2*)
The crowd was absolutely dead for this. The match lasted about 15 minutes, but the pace just died. Austin Stunner’d Swagger, then Lawler applied the Ankle Lock to Cole, who tapped out to end it. Swagger carried Cole off afterwards. For reasons beyond me, Booker T jumped into the ring and joined the ensuing beer bash between Austin and Lawler, but he gets a Stunner. But the GM emails and says that due to Austin getting physically involved in the match, Cole wins via DQ. Mathews read the email, so Lawler grabs him and throws him in the ring, then Austin Stunner’s him. Why did he get a Stunner? He’s not the GM, he just read the email. Austin drives off, while Lawler joins JR at the announce desk. I don’t get how WWE dropped the ball on this match. All they had to do was have Lawler win, Swagger and Cole eat Stunners, and Austin drinks beer with Lawler. That’s not hard to do. Now, it’s a third slap in the face for Lawler–one, for never having a ‘Mania match despite his years of service; two, for being publicly humiliated over his mother’s passing and having it used as a personal attack on him over the past few weeks; and three, he loses his first ever ‘Mania match anyways.
Video package featuring this past week’s highlights, as well as some Fan Axxess footage.
No Hold Barred: The Undertaker d. Triple H via Submission (****3/4)
A great match, and easily the match of the night. By the way, HHH came out to “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica before going back to his usual theme. The match was a mess, with both guys going to the outside, then they came in and kicked out of finishers and chair shots. The match style was actually similar to that of Michaels vs. Taker from WM26, as it wasn’t very structured and wasn’t built off of wrestling, but more spots and bumps. Both guys started pushing and ended up breaking the Cole Mine and knocking it over. HHH took a nice back body drop off the announce table onto the mat, then Taker did a flying Senton from the ring to the outside, crashing into the side of the announce table. HHH eventually countered with a spinebuster through the announce table. HHH hits two consecutive Pedigrees (three total), and Taker kicked out. He grabbed a chair and started whaling on Taker, screaming at him to stay down and quit. Taker grabbed him by the throat, but HHH knocked him off, did the cut-throat motion and hit Undertaker with a Tombstone Piledriver, but Taker kicked out! Holy crap! HHH grabbed the sledgehammer from under the ring, but before he went to use it, Taker grabbed him and applied Hell’s Gate. HHH kicked and twisted to get out of it, but couldn’t. He dropped the sledgehammer as he began fading, but got a second wind and felt around for it, eventually grabbing it. He goes to swing it into Taker’s ribs, but he drops it and starts fading again and eventually taps out at 30 minutes. The Undertaker improves to 19-0 at WrestleMania as a big pyro show erupts on the stage. A great match–the finish was a little disappointing compared to Taker’s last two ‘Mania matches, but it was still fantastic. A lot of close finishes and near pinfalls. Post-match, Taker has trouble moving and falls out of the ring, unable to get up. He tries to grab the apron but stumbles and appears to have passed out. They put him on the mobile gurney and drive him off. I wonder if it’s just a sell or if HHH may have botched the Tombstone a little. As HHH went to leave, he walked close to Taker who had just fallen out as if to check on him. I guess we’ll see in the coming days whether or not the injury angle is real or not.
Snooki, Trish Stratus & John Morrison d. LayCool & Dolph Ziggler w/ Vickie Guerrero (*)
The match got five minutes, yet Morrison and Ziggler did nothing–go figure. Morrison hit Starship Pain on Ziggler from the top rope to the outside with was insane, but that was it. Snooki got booed when she was tagged in by Trish, but she did a nice Tajiri-like backflip elbow on Michelle, then did a TERRIBLE backflip splash for the pinfall.
WWE Championship: (C) The Miz d. John Cena (**)
Did anyone care about the match itself, or was everyone waiting for the potential Rock/Cena showdown at the end? Yet again, the crowd was done for this match and were silent. Cena hit the exposed turnbuckle and got a Skull Crushing Finale, but kicked out of the pin. He eventually hit Miz with the Attitude Adjustment, which looked like the end, but Miz kicked out. Both guys took it to the outside, and Cena tackled Miz off the top off the barricade. The ref started counting, and it was called a double countout (draw), and Miz retains the title.
Rock’s music hits, and then we get an email from the GM. Rock says it doesn’t matter what the computer said because he’s the host of WrestleMania and the main event will not end like that. He restarts the match and says it is now No DQ. Cena grabs Miz and tosses him in the ring, but Rock sneaks in and hits Cena with the Rock Bottom. Miz rolls over and scores the pinfall to retain the title (again). Post-match, Rock is about to leave, but sees Miz in the ring. He runs in and lands some punches, then a spinebuster, followed by the People’s Elbow. Rock stands tall as WrestleMania 27 fades to black.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Undertaker: great match.
2. Triple H: see Undertaker.
3. John Morrison: that Starship Pain was bananas.
Final Score: 4
This show sucked. Plain and simple. This is nowhere near the quality of WrestleMania’s we’ve been given the past few years. It sounds mean, but I hope WWE absolutely bombs in PPV buys. It’s the only way they’re going to learn that the product they’re putting out isn’t acceptable and needs to be changed. Otherwise, they’ll think they’re doing everything right. HHH/Taker was the saviour of this show, but taking a step back, look at the four biggest draws of this card: Rock, Austin, Taker, HHH. All established Superstars from the Attitude Era. How are you supposed to build up new Superstars if they never do anything? Sure, Miz won tonight, but it wasn’t clean or convincing. ADR lost to Edge, who’s also established. Why were Daniel Bryan and Sheamus in the dark match instead of on the card? Why are Morrison and Ziggler being wasted on gimmick matches with celebrities? Even though Christian is fairly established, he could’ve gotten a match tonight. Evan Bourne wasn’t used either. Once again, WWE sacrificed match length and quality for stupid backstage skits and one-time-only celebrity cameos. This show was begging for a Money in the Bank match with all the Superstars sitting the show out. Although it’s an argument for another time, I’m a firm believer in MITB matches being solely on WrestleMania PPVs, as well as few PPV events per year. There’s like 14 PPVs a year now when it should be between six and 10. That’ll make feuds longer and with a better buildup. Anyways, ADR/Edge was a solid match, but I didn’t agree with it opening the show. I also think not putting the WHC on ADR is a mistake given his huge push of late. I just feel really disappointed by this show. This was supposed to be the best show of the year, but I think it’d be a soft PPV showing even if it wasn’t one of WWE’s big-four events. Their best decision today was putting JR at the announce desk, and they didn’t even do that right since he wasn’t on from start to finish. At least they put him on for HHH/Taker, though. Bottom line, it was a lot of hype for a show that I don’t think really delivered. “If ya’ smell what the Pee is cooking” best sums up this PPV.