Monday, April 6, 2009

Wrestlemania Thoughts

  1. I was disappointed to find out that the Tag Team Title Unifying match between Miz and Morrison vs. Carlito and Primo Colon would happen as a pre-show dark match instead of on the main Wrestlemania card - I was surprised, albeit not unpleasantly so, to find out Carlito and Primo had won, given what a push Miz and Morrison have gotten in recent months - but hopefully this pulls out into a decent feud that has some PPV exposure coming up.
  2. The Money in the Bank match was VERY good and easily the second-best match on the card to Shawn Michaels-Undertaker. Ari wishes it had been a bit longer and I can't disagree on merit - this kind of match does well to have a chance to simmer a bit. But if it would have been a tradeoff of length for quality, I'm satisfied with the match we got - and it doesn't hurt to remind folks that matches don't need to be 30 or 40 minutes to be successful, 4-star matches, as I'm afraid our measurement of match quality these days is associated with length (as we've been so deprived of it with the 3-5 minute standard of Raw matches). I was disappointed in the outcome as CM Punk didn't have the build I thought he should have if he were going to win (I expected a Christian or MVP win) - but that's something the coming weeks and months can correct.
  3. The Kid Rock concert was a fun old school trip down memory lane as he's provided the theme music for a few wrestlers and PPVs along the way - do I wish this could have maybe been shortened or cut in favour of the Colons-Miz/Morrison tag match? Yeah ... but it was fun enough. I'll just tie in the Diva battle Royal here while I'm at it, as they entered to Kid's music - I wish the women had gotten their own entrances, or at least the returning Divas. Women like Molly Holly and Sunny we haven't seen in years and I didn't even catch them before they were eliminated - I even missed Santino Marella in the ring until about halfway through the battle royal. I think some of these details might have done with a bit more attention. Again, something the Kid Rock show could have been abbreviated a bit to accomplish.
  4. That said - Santino winning was comic gold. I found it a bit silly and distracting that the commentators played dumb as to who he/she was, even after (s)he introduced him/herself as Santina Marella, and happening to have all the same tattoos as Santino - but it was funny nonetheless. I'm sure excellent detective work tonight will reveal his changing backstage or something, which we fans could tell all along. Silly - but I guess that's the WWE reality. My major disappointment about this match was the fact I'd expected Trish Stratus' return, and it wasn't provided. That said, I should have expected that when one spot was left and Santino was angling to get into the battle royal. That was my own overbuilt expectations and I fully admit that.
  5. JBL vs. Rey Mysterio was what it was - quick and made its point. JBL posted a blog over at WWE Universe today (you can connect through saying his retirement is legit, putting over the WWE, and saying that while he never says never, he has no business plans wrestling-wise going forward (no matches, commentary, GM stints, jumps to TNA). His goal had been for his career to last to WM25, he says in his blog, and he made it. For those who missed this 21-second match, JBL insisted he would win in the most dominant way imagineable, thus making history at Wrestlemania - Rey Mysterio, who's about half his size, managed to defeat him in seconds, following which JBL announced he was quitting. Not sure WM is the format for that kind of match, but I suppose they couldn't have done anything else after his bragging about handling Rey Mysterio handily. It's interesting to note we've had two WM retirements in a row - Ric Flair, and now JBL - and let me just say between that, and Trish Stratus' and Lita's back-to-back retirements, I think it's much better to go out a face (note to Shawn Michaels ...).
  6. Chris Jericho vs. Jimmy Snuka, Roddy Piper, and Ricky Steamboat was exactly what I expected - a not terribly good match, though everyone involved did what they could, followed by a Jericho-Flair confrontation, and celebrity guest Mickey Rourke getting a few shots in before getting to take a bow with Ric Flair while Chris Jericho slunk away. I hope now that this is out of everyone's system Jericho can go on and challenge for a world title or at least Rey Mysterio's IC belt along the way now. Or perhaps even CM Punk for the Money in the Bank he just won - as the guy who created the match, that could create a neat little series on Jericho's way back up to being a main event heel.
  7. Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker was exceptional - ***** without a question, a half hour long match that proved these two forty-somethings can still go. No guys that age deserve to have the best match on any given card, but these two did and kudos to them. And with that, after the 12 months Shawn Michaels has provided the company - being part of at least 4 or 5 of the major storylines the company's been built around for the last year - I hope he gets a great title run - especially if what he says is true and he expects to retire shortly after next year's Mania at this point. He has been a major part of major feuds without letting his ego get in the way, and while he won the WM match with Ric Flair last year, and his feud with JBL, he has without complaint let Chris Jericho and Batista both get the better of him - a humble, appreciative, loyal HBK who has worked to make other top stars look good in recent months has come a long way, and deserves credit and his own spotlight before tuning up the band for the last time.
  8. The Triple Threat match between John Cena, Big Show and Edge was what I expected - it was good, and the love triangle didn't get too much in the way of things. Cena's entrance was the stupidest I've seen yet, but it was funny, and the match let go of some of the distractions that had been present in the buildup. John Cena's win was predictable but satisfying, it was the only way things could go while the other two were fighting for Vicki Guerrero's heart and not the World Heavyweight Title. No complaints per se - just this match, as well as the next one - was unfairly put after the match really everyone was looking forward to on this card - Michaels vs. Taker. On its own the match was sound - not a 5-star, but sound. It would have been more appreciated and had a hotter crowd earlier on the card.
  9. Ditto Triple H vs. Randy Orton - I know this is THE main event and the buildup for this was equivalent to that of Michaels-Taker; it didn't suffer so much from card placement as the match before this, and I don't begrudge Triple H wanting his moment of winning big at WM after handing out Mania title wins to Chris Benoit, Batista, John Cena and Randy Orton over the past 5 years. I just don't think Triple H inspires fans' imagination or emotion as much as Michaels-Taker does, as hard as he works for it, and the heat Randy Orton has can't carry a match where he's never REALLY in charge and Triple H's win was never really in jeopardy. I think this match would have been better received earlier on the card as well - or, if the main event, could have at least stood for some more nailbiting, back-and-forth action.
So those are my thoughts on the 25th edition of Wrestlemania - my final grade would be a B-ish 7/10. Which is very solid and respectable - it was an excellent PPV, and an OK Wrestlemania. It just didn't live up to what I would have imagined for Wrestlemania 25. Still - good effort from all involved, the guys and girls brought their A-games (with the possible exception of the somewhat lacklustre-seeming main event), and looking forward to Raw tonight, as WWE turns the page on a new year, and next week, for their Draft Lottery. Stay tuned and while you're at it, be sure and join me to follow all the action right here ... In This Very Ring.


Coffee Maker said...

well Mickey Rourke went to all the trouble of working out and getting huge, he might as well make an appearance as a real, pro wrestler

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