Eric’s blog: Segment-by-segment review of WWE WrestleMania weekend

Road Warrior Hawk

The star of the weekend.

Since all WrestleMania 27 updates were done last weekend via audio report, we’re going to give you our written notes about the events here. Kevin’s notes are soon to come; I’ll make my points short since there’s a lot to cover, but because there IS a lot to cover, I want to make sure I nail it all. So, segment by segment, here are my thoughts on the events of WrestleMania weekend.

WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Hacksaw Jim Duggan: No better inductor than Ted DiBiase, who can spin a nice yarn, and no more deserving midcarder than good ol’ Hacksaw, who still gets ‘em eating out of the palm of his hand… tough guy!

 

“Bullet” Bob Armstrong: Road Dogg is still fun to listen to, and Brad is still white as snow. Bob got a polite, “WWE is recognizing him so I’ll clap” reaction, but he won everyone over with his fun old-man humor.

Sunny: You could have heard a cricket fart when LayCool and the divas were announced as the inductors. If there’s such a thing as a silent groan, I heard it. Even the WWE superstars remained seated when they came out. Sunny is hot again.

Abdullah the Butcher: Terry Funk might have stolen the show. Abby kept it short and sweet, maybe because he can’t talk but possibly because he knew he was a stranger in a strange land.

Road Warriors: Dusty Rhodes’ introduction speech was great, calling Hawk “Hank” and telling some nice stories. Animal was good, Ellering was weird, and the action figure moment welled up the old duct work.

Drew Carey: “I think they were saying ‘Drew-urns’.” Kane was great half-out of character. Carey got in, showed his appreciation and got out.

Shawn Michaels: Triple H and his witty sense of douchebagginess once again chewed up about 20 minutes. Michaels’ speech rambled, and he seemed to actually be rattled or distracted by the fans’ long reaction. Guess he doesn’t know how to milk it like the Hulkster, brother.

Overall: The three hours breezed by, but I don’t know if it’s something I’d ever do again, unless the line-up was stacked. I’d rather spend money to go to Ring of Honor, knowing I won’t buy that DVD, as opposed to spending money to hear speeches that I know I’ll get on the WrestleMania DVD that I will buy.

WrestleMania 27

Pre-show: Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus/Battle Royal: We all (the three of us and most of the 71,000 in attendance) simultaneously had the “Huh?!” and “Pfft, that figures” reaction to the “pre-show” demotion of this match.

America the Beautiful/Rock’s welcome: Keri Hilson stinks and was way off the rhythm. Rock gave a very juvenile opener hardly worthy of Monday Night Raw circa 1999.

Edge vs. Alberto del Rio: Surprised it went on first, but in hindsight, not really. Surprised it only went 11 minutes, but in hindsight, not really. Really good for a curtain jerker, really good for a del Rio match, but still a tad confusing.

Rey Mysterio vs. Cody Rhodes: Cody’s Titantron was phenomenal. Rey can still get around and pop a crowd. Cody got a singles win at WrestleMania; let’s see where that goes.

Snoop Dogg/Hornswoggle: Yuck. But, Zack Ryder singing “Friday” got a big pop.

Big Show & Co. vs. The Corre: Yuck. I still don’t like Kofi Kingston and would rather have seen Roddy Piper out there, for crying out loud.

Rock/Eve/Mae Young/Steve Austin: “Divasaurus” was funny, and Mae is still endearing. The Rock-Austin meeting didn’t do as much for me as it did for Jeremy, but it had to happen. It was better than Snitsky-Heidenreich, that’s for sure.

 

Randy Orton vs. CM Punk: Match of the night. It was basic, it told a great story, Punk’s facial expressions were classic, and Orton hit the big RKO I predicted about 30 seconds before he did it.

Rock/Gene Okerlund/Pee-wee Herman: I liked it, but I’m goofy.

Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler: I know they wanted heat on Cole, and I know Lawler is getting old, but all he did was lie there. Yet somehow I still loved the whole thing, even the reversed decision.

Undertaker vs. Triple H: What a snooze fest. Not-believable nearfall after nearfall until Hunter’s Tombstone, which wasn’t even believable so much as it was cool to see Taker kick out of the son-in-law’s stolen finisher. NOT AS GOOD as everyone thinks!

John Morrison & Co. vs. Dolph Ziggler & Co.: Short, Snookified, and let’s just get to the men’s falls-count-anywhere match at Extreme Rules, please.

The Miz vs. John Cena: Close second-place for match of the night. Miz’s video set the tone for the true main event of the show (and his inflatable letters were great, Cena was in full Hulkamania/USA mode, the ref bump was unexpected, the double count-out was an odd choice for a tease, and the crowd went home happy. Other than the fat kid in front of us, who was seething with anger.

Overall: Other than the scope of the building and the size of the stage and set, the show didn’t really feel like a WrestleMania until Orton vs. Punk, and even then it wasn’t hammered home until Taker vs. Hunter. It was a really good show, but on the Top 27 WrestleManias list, it only checks in above the stinkers (2, 9 and 11), the shitty Russo-era show (15) and the Prime Time Wrestling marathons (4, 5, 6 and 7). Maybe a few others, but it’s definitely in the “midcard tier” in WrestleMania lore.

 

WWE Monday Night Raw

Triple H promo: The time machine still works, and Hunter is still cutting long promos to open Raw. Blecch, Yes, he did tap out, Powell.

Jerry Lawler vs. Jack Swagger: I still like the Cole character – I think he’s even amping it up (“Did Miz see me?”) – and we had to expect some Jim Ross shenanigans. Cute segment with a loud accompanying “Jerry!” chant.

Rey Mysterio & Randy Orton vs. CM Punk & Cody Rhodes: A good tag team match of good length. Everyone has history with everyone else, and everyone knows how to work with everyone else. Good choice, WWE.

Triple H-Steve Austin: Eh. Rock-Austin had to happen. This didn’t.

(At least these two were once capable of doing something decent together…)

Steve Austin & the Tough Enough Gang/Miz: At least the Tough Enough kids took their elder’s advice and moved things along. The Miz forcefully yelling, “Move, Buckwheat” was the line of the night (and trended on Twitter). Austin getting physical was good; too bad he didn’t “stun them all” (also trended on Twitter).

Alberto del Rio vs. Evan Bourne: I like del Rio, but poor Evan “Air” Bourne.

John Morrison & Trish Stratus vs. Dolph Ziggler & Vickie Guerrero: Nice and short, but is anyone even left on Smackdown these days?

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan/Sin Cara: That was an ass-kicking. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Daniel Bryan-Evan Bourne tag team to kill some time for them. Sin Cara was tremendous, as was Sheamus’ reaction to getting beaten up buy the new guy.

John Cena-Rock confrontation: Good promos and intensity from both guys, but did they really need the sugary sweet ending? And remember nine months ago when Wade Barrett and those other guys were over? Me either.

Overall: Raw is always a good time, and this was no exception.

One Response

  1. TOO SOON!

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