WrestleMania 28 comes to you live from Miami, Florida. I’m currently 4-4-1 in my predictions for WrestleMania, so hopefully ‘Mania 28 gets them back above .500. I won’t be doing live commentary, since I’m assuming everyone already watched this once or twice.
WWE Tag Team Championships: (C) Primo & Epico d. Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel and The Usos
Primo and Epico retained their titles. Midway through the match, Gabriel injured his elbow, and early reports have him missing 6 weeks. Still, that Gabriel/Kidd tag team shows lots of promise.
World Heavyweight Championship: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus (F-)
That’s right. An F-. Lots of “Yes!” chants to begin. Bryan kissed AJ after the bell rang, and ate a Brogue Kick as soon as he turned around for the pinfall at 18 seconds. Wow. I was expecting this match to get 20+ minutes. How far down the ladder is the WHC now? An 18-second match at WrestleMania is a farce. I had Bryan picked to retain, so my predictions got off to a bad start.
Kane d. Randy Orton (C)
I had Orton pegged to win it. The storyline for this match was still weak in my opinion, and the match doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the card. Kane won with a chokeslam off the middle rope at 11 minutes.
Backstage comedy bit with Santino, Mick Foley, and some clown from Deadliest Catch. Ron Simmons ended it with a “DAMN” as Santino got scared and threw his plate. I loved it.
Intercontinental Championship: Big Show d. (C) Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show (D+)
I’m glad Show won to become a Grand Slam champion, but I thought putting Rhodes over was the right move. Show’s spear on Rhodes’ Disaster Kick looked like it got him in the nuts, rather than the midsection. Oh well. Show won with a KO punch at 5 minutes. His crying afterwards was a nice little touch, given how much he’s done for the company and how long he’s been with WWE. As for Cody, him dropping the title means he can move up the card, something he’s earned over the past little while.
Maria Menounos & Kelly Kelly d. Beth Phoenix & Eve (D+)
This match probably shouldn’t even have happened. Why is Natalya not on the card? How can you build your best Divas up when they aren’t on the show? I would much rather have watched Beth vs. Natalya than this. Midway through, Maria gave Eve a double stinkface, and Eve’s makeup rubbed onto Maria’s gorgeous backside, making it look like she shit her pants during the match. Awkward. Although we now have a reason to keep staring at her…assets. Maria pinned Beth with a rollup at 6 minutes. Kelly’s senton flip onto Beth was very well done–either because Kelly is improving or Beth saved her on the landing.
HBK interview with Matt Striker talking about the Taker/HHH match.
Announced attendance is 78,363 people.
Hell in a Cell: Triple H vs. The Undertaker w/Shawn Michaels (A++)
Jim Ross is out to do commentary at the request of Undertaker. HHH’s entrance was pretty cool, as was Takers. Both were well done. Taker’s bald look was also kinda cool, it gave the impression that waiting for this match had been eating away at him for a full year. Nice. Those chair shots Taker took were huge, you could even see the welts on his back afterwards. There must’ve been 20+ shots. The spot where HBK was knocked out and Charles Robinson ran in was also good. Taker took a Sweet Chin Music kick and a Pedigree, but kicked out, prompting a “this is awesome” chant. That was absolutely amazing. I couldn’t believe it. HHH also kicked out of a nice Tombstone afterwards. Another Pedigree on Taker, and another great nearfall. Taker’s turn for big shots, as he lands a series of chair shots. For the finish, Taker stopped HHH from using the sledgehammer, as he’s standing on noodle legs. HHH, realizing he’d lost again, delivered a crotch chop before taking the final Tombstone for the pinfall at 31 minutes. Absolutely amazing. Probably better than last year’s match as well. This match had absolutely everything–great nearfalls, controversy, an excellent story and an exciting finish. It’s amazing that both of these guys are nearing 50 years old. Just an amazing match overall. After the match, great Taker celebration pyro. Taker and HBK helped HHH up as they carried him up the ramp. I hate to say it, but the way all three went out hugging at the top of the ramp makes me think it could be their last matches. I hope to God I’m wrong.
Stupid backstage skit with Heath Slater and Flo Rida.
Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy (C)
In addition to the 12 people in the ring, there were probably another 8 at ringside. Why so many people? The match was pretty average other than Ziggler’s awesome monkey flip sell. I wasn’t a fan of the finish, where Zack Ryder got distracted by Eve. Miz came in and hit an SCF for the pinfall at 11 minutes. Post match, Eve kicked Ryder in the nuts. Santino’s “Hey, what are you doing!?” was awesome.
Backstage, Ace tells CM Punk that if he gets DQ’d, he still loses his title.
WWE Championship: (C) CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho (B+)
Both entrances were well done. Jericho’s chirping on Punk’s family mid-match was pretty cool as well, it’s consistent with him trying to get under Punk’s skin. The hurricanrana reversed into a Walls of Jericho was pretty cool, as was the springboard clothesline into the Codebreaker. After lots of fussing and reverse attempts, Punk got the Anaconda Vice submission at 22 minutes. A very good match, but it missed something from making it a great one.
Brodus Clay and his dancing momma came out before the main event. I thought it was pretty funny.
For some reason, P. Diddy came out and introduced Machine Gun Kelly, who sang ‘Invincible’ while John Cena’s video package played. MGK got booed big time when he called Cena the underdog. That’s also inaccurate.
Flo Rida was next and sang ‘Good Feeling’ and ‘Wild Ones.’ No boos or declarative statements from him.
The Rock d. John Cena (A-)
The Rock comes out to an insane reaction. While Rock looked out of shape from a wrestling endurance standpoint, he was still selling moves better than Cena after 7 years out of the ring. A series of nearfalls came after both guys kicked out of a number of finishers. I thought that last AA was enough to end it, but Rock kicked out again. Cena went for a People’s Elbow, but Rock jumped up and hit a second Rock Bottom for the pinfall at 31 minutes. Overall, very well done, especially during the last 5 minutes for the finish. I was surprised to see Rock go over, and was expecting a Rock/Cena 2 at WrestleMania 28 or something.
Final Grade: B+
Five Stars of the Match
* The Undertaker
** The Rock
*** Triple H
**** John Cena
*****CM Punk/Chris Jericho