More thoughts on WrestleMania XXVII
If you saw the video posted earlier today of Brian Fritz and me, you know that both of us thought that WrestleMania XXVII was a good show.
Judging by comments on this blog and other wrestling websites, however, apparently we are in the minority.
The major complaint that I’ve seen about Sunday night's show is that the main event between WWE champion The Miz and John Cena didn’t deliver and had a flat finish. Fans also seem to have been disappointed with what The Rock brought to the show and with most of the matches in general – The Undertaker-Triple H and Randy Orton-CM Punk matches being the exceptions.
A number of people said that show felt more like an episode of Raw than the biggest pay-per-view of the year. It also has been noted that since WWE began having two world titles defended at WrestleMania in 2003, at least one of the belts changed hands every year until Sunday night's show.
Who knows, perhaps I would have had a different opinion of the show if I had watched it in my living room on pay-per-view, but being there live in the Georgia Dome in a big-show atmosphere with more than 70,000 fans, I thought WrestleMania XXVII was pretty entertaining.
On the other hand, the expectation for the Super Bowl of wrestling (oops, sports entertainment) is high, so in that regard, I suppose a case can be made that “pretty entertaining” isn’t acceptable and that the show didn’t live up to the hype.
It certainly wasn’t “the most memorable WrestleMania of all time” as The Rock promised it would be in his promo that opened the show.
With that being said, however, I think saying WrestleMania XXVII was “terrible” or that it was the worst WrestleMania ever is off base, but everyone is entitled to their opinion.
The Miz-Cena match wasn’t a classic by any means, but I didn’t think it was an epic failure. I do, however, agree with those who said that most people just seemed to be waiting for The Rock to show up. Was the finish a little flat? Perhaps, but I didn’t walk out of the arena feeling as if it was a big letdown either.
On a side note, I saw at least one person who wasn’t at all pleased with the finish. A young boy in a purple Cena t-shirt and cap who had been holding up pro-Cena and anti-Rock signs, ripped up his signs and was nearly in tears after Cena lost. I felt bad for him. I reacted the same way when I was 10 and heard that Superstar Billy Graham had lost the WWWF title to some young, red-haired punk named Bob Backlund.
As for The Rock’s performance, I thought what he did was fine and he certainly electrified the crowd at the start of the show, but I wouldn’t say that “The Great One” created any great WrestleMania moments Sunday night.
My biggest complaint about the show is that the two world title matches only went a combined 26 minutes. And why even bother having the eight-man tag team match between The Corre and The Big Show, Kane, Kofi Kingston and Santino Marella if you’re only going to give it 90 seconds? But in all fairness, even with four hours to work with, WWE had a lot of stuff it had to get in, including some backstage skits with The Rock, which were necessary since he was the host and fans were expecting it. I could have done without was the Snoop Dogg segment, however, and I’ve never been a fan of Pee Wee Herman.
It will be very interesting to see what happens tonight on Raw (I will be in attendance at Atlanta’s Philips Arena) with The Rock and Cena. I’ve been saying this for a few years now, but it might finally be time for WWE to listen to the crowd and turn Cena heel. As a bad guy, he would have more heat than Vickie Guerrero and Michael Cole combined and it would really freshen up his character.
Speaking of guys switching sides, I see a babyface turn in The Miz’s future, perhaps before the end of the year. He has mostly turned the corner as far as gaining the fans’ respect and he is beginning to get some cheers (he certainly had his share of fans Sunday night). If the angle is done well, I think The Miz will become one of the top babyfaces in WWE. I didn’t see it in him for a long time, but I have no doubts now that The Miz has “it.”
I figured The Undertaker and Triple H would have an entertaining match, but what they put together exceeded my expectations. It told a great story and seemed to have the crowd truly believing that The Streak was going to end. The Undertaker, who for years had subpar matches at WrestleMania against lumbering big guys such as Giant Gonzalez, King Kong Bundy and Mark Henry, has now had the best match or second-best match at WrestleMania for five consecutive years. As for Triple H, this was his best WrestleMania match since WrestleMania XX in 2004 when he faced Chris Benoit and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match.
I was a little disappointed that the Cole-Jerry Lawler match didn’t have more heat after the great buildup on TV. When Cole was on offense, rather than getting all worked up, the crowd began a “boring” chant. In the end, however, Austin delivered three Stunners and did the beer bash celebration with Lawler, which the fans enjoyed.
The most spectacular move of the night goes to -- surprise, surprise -- John Morrison for doing Starship Pain off the top onto the floor on Dolph Ziggler.
I loved Metallica's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" being played before Triple H's regular entrance music. Conversely, I don't think Cena coming out to a gospel choir really worked.