CB’s World: An In-Depth Look Back As To Why I Hated WWE WrestleMania 27 (Triple H, The Undertaker, John Cena, The Rock)

As WWE’s Road to WrestleMania 28 continues, I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at last year’s granddaddy of them all that featured The Undertaker vs. Triple H, Edge’s last match, John Cena vs. The Miz, and a whole lot of promos / segments / shenanigans featuring The Rock, who hosted the event.

There are two reasons for this retrospective: 1) I remember hating last year’s show but can’t remember the details as if I blocked it all out; 2) I have been wondering lately if this year’s event will be any better, so I figure it would be a good idea to do this for comparison’s sake as WrestleMania 28 fast approaches.

Therefore, what I am going to do right here, right now is take pieces of Jake Ziegler’s WrestleMania XXVII live recap of last year’s show and provide my own personal take that a) revisits my emotions from last year; b) reflects on how I view the WrestleMania 27 card today in 2012.

As Michael Bolton once said to the Lonely Island troupe, “Let’s get to it…”

Keri Hilson sings “America the Beautiful,” and that segues right into a video package for tonight’s host, The Rock!

Now the Great One himself comes out to a thunderous ovation. He runs through some catchphrases and gets the crowd fired up.

Now comes the introduction video with highlights of WrestleManias past and present. Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and Josh Mathews are calling the action.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Like everyone else, I was fired up that The Rock was hosting WrestleMania, and it was very cool to see him walk down the WrestleMania ramp that first time because he was really there, in person, on the biggest stage of them all.

CB’s Slant in 2012: If I’m not mistaken, however, I believe Rock’s opening segment ran pretty long and was almost like a Raw cold open that dragged on for just a little too long. Also, it’s kind of hard to gauge fan reactions at stadiums where there are over 70,000 fans in attendance, since you don’t really get that more personal feel of an emotional crowd that can make or break an event at times. At ‘Mania, though, that doesn’t really matter as much, so I’m probably nitpicking here.

MATCH #1: World Heavyweight Championship Match – Edge (with Christian) vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Brodus Clay and Ricardo Rodriguez)

I’m pretty shocked that this is going on first. Del Rio goes after the injured arm early on, which is smart strategy. He takes Edge to the floor to inflict more punishment. The challenger charges and Edge moves out of the way so Del Rio crashes hard to the floor. Edge follows him out with a dive and both men are down on the floor. Back in the ring Edge goes up top but Del Rio armdrags him down and gets a two-count. Edge comes back with a leg lariat and a big boot to the face. He gets a flurry of offense going, including a flapjack for two. Del Rio stays focused and goes back to the arm. Edge counters with the Edge-O-Matic for two. Del Rio comes back with the Cross Armbreaker but Edge reaches the ropes. While Del Rio argues with the ref Edge is able to recover and clothesline Del Rio’s neck off the top rope. Edge goes up top again and Del Rio takes him out with a solid kick to the head. Christian and Brodus Clay get into it at ringside and Christian gets the worst of it. Edge takes advantage and gets a quick schoolboy rollup for two. He hits the Edgecution. He goes for the Spear but Del Rio avoids it. Moments later Del Rio locks on the Cross Armbreaker in the center of the ring! Edge escapes and locks on the Edgecator! Christian recovers and hits Clay with a tornado DDT off the apron! Del Rio is able to escape the hold but Edge drills him with a Spear to get the pin!

WINNER – Edge, retains World Heavyweight Title [***1/2]

Christian returns with a tire iron and a lead pipe, and they lay waste to Del Rio’s car.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: After this aired, I was SHOCKED at how short it was since at that time we really didn’t know it would be Edge’s last match or the extent of his injuries he’d accumulated over the years that forced him into early retirement from wrestling. Without taking that into account, this looked like a burial of Alberto Del Rio because he didn’t really get a chance to shine given the length of time this match was given and since Miz was the top heel at that time, he came out of this looking like he was — and maybe always will be — second fiddle to someone else in WWE.

CB’s Slant in 2012: Wow, how things have changed. Obviously, being that this was in fact Edge’s last match makes me look at the result with a much more sentimental perspective, and I do think they did the right thing here because Edge’s win and subsequent retirement wound up being the biggest reason for Christian’s huge push and ensuing World Heavyweight Championship win. So yes, if I had to choose between Del Rio winning at Mania or Christian’s push post-Edge retirement, I’d choose the latter. Of course, Del Rio could have won and then Christian could have avenged Edge’s loss, but that’s a whole other story in and of itself…

Tough Enough returns tomorrow night after Raw!

CB’s Reaction in 2011: OK, that’s cool, especially since Stone Cold Steve Austin will be back in the WWE fold.

CB’s Slant in 2012: My favorite match of all time is Melina vs. Alicia Fox. Also, where the hell is SILENT RAGE anyway? Is Jake Roberts training him? Anyways, I digress…

MATCH #2: Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio

Cody’s new theme music is absolutely awesome. Rey’s costume tonight is a Captain America theme. They go right at it and Rhodes goes right after Mysterio’s knee brace. Rhodes uses his protective mask as a weapon. He locks on a camel clutch and continues working Mysterio over. Rhodes even hits an Alabama Slam for two. A noticeable “let’s go Cody” chant breaks out. Rhodes locks on the Yokozuna nerve hold. He hits a stalling superplex, which is really cool. He goes for Cross-Rhodes but Mysterio counters and sends Rhodes to the floor. Mysterio joins him on the floor and sends Rhodes into the ring apron with a headscissors. Back in the ring Mysterio hits the Whoopee Cushion. Rhodes comes back with a wheelbarrow suplex for two. Mysterio comes back with a headscissors and a dropkick. He goes for the 619 but Rhodes had it scouted. Rhodes catapults Mysterio into the middle rope. He undoes Mysterio’s knee brace and throws it to the floor. Even so Mysterio hits a moonsault for two. Mysterio takes off Rhodes’s mask and hits the 619! He goes up top for something but it gets countered so he settles for a kick to the face. Mysterio then puts on the discarded mask and delivers a couple of headbutts. He goes up top and hits a diving headbutt but Rhodes kicks out at two! Rhodes slides to the floor and grabs the knee brace, and when Mysterio tries to follow him out with a dive Rhodes bashes him in the face with it! Back in the ring Rhodes hits CrossRhodes to get the pin!

WINNER – Cody Rhodes [***1/4]

CB’s Reaction in 2011: This was a solid feud and the right result considering Cody needed a “feather in his cap” win and Rey Mysterio can pretty much absorb any loss and come out unscathed in the fan’s eyes these days.

CB’s Slant in 2012: I agree with the above sentiment 100%. However, if Cody ends up wrestling his brother Goldust this year in a rumored match, then that will be two years of easy pickens for Cody where he will be booked to win over a veteran who can absorb the loss. Does that mean Cody is still being built up and hasn’t progressed any further than last year?

On a side note, I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I’m really looking forward to Mysterio’s return and I think it will really help SmackDown immensely. It’s still up in the air as to whether he’ll be back by WrestleMania, but I say there is no need to rush his return anyway.

Backstage Teddy Long welcomes Snoop Dogg back to WrestleMania. Snoop is looking for some talent so he’s holding auditions. First up is William Regal rapping. Great Khali and Beth Phoenix try their hand at “Grease.” Zack Ryder sings Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and Roddy Piper hits him with a coconut. Chris Masters and Yoshi Tatsu do a rendition of “We Will Rock You.” Hornswoggle is out next, and Long tells Snoop that this guy can’t really talk. Snoop and Teddy leave. Then the Bella Twins come out and dance with Hornswoggle while he raps. So I guess midgets are real people.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Ugh times a million. Do we really need a SmackDown-like throwaway segment here so Snoop Dogg can get WrestleMania airtime? I mean, they bumped Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus off the main show and relegated it to a pre-show dark match for wrestle crap like this?

CB’s Slant in 2012: Agreed. Also funny that here we are one year later and one of the main events this time around is Bryan vs. Sheamus II.

MATCH #3: Eight Man Tag Team Match – The Corre (Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, and WWE Tag Team Champions Justin Gabriel & Heath Slater) vs. Big Show, Kane, Kofi Kingston & Santino Marella

Satino and Slater start it off with some chain wrestling. Show quickly tags in and throws Slater around. Jackson tags in and takes Show out. The match breaks down and bodies are flying everywhere. Marella comes in the ring and hits Slater with the Cobra. Show follows up with the knockout punch and it’s over in about two minutes.

WINNERS – Kofi Kingston, Santino Marella, Kane & Big Show [*1/2]

CB’s Reaction in 2011: The typical makeshift match to give people off the card something to do at WrestleMania. That doesn’t enrich my own personal enjoyment of the show as a paying customer, however.

CB’s Slant in 2012: You take away all of the senseless segments and throw-in matches like this, and you’d have time for both Bryan-Sheamus and Money in the Bank, no? Also, was Kofi Kingston really just completely wasted by WWE Creative all year or what? (And since WWE does NOT care about tag team wrestling, don’t tell me that Air Boom was a step up. Not when you have Kofi’s talent).

Backstage the Rock is hitting on Divas Champion Eve. Rock says that he’ll create an unforgettable moment with the next person who comes around the corner no matter who it is. It turns out to be Mae Young of course. Mae says she wants the People’s Strudel. Rock makes jokes about Mae being old and sends her away with Eve. Then Stone Cold Steve Austin walks in! They exchange pleasantries in a very tense fashion.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Awful, and now The Rock is being overexposed and overused throughout this show.

CB’s Slant in 2012: Wait, so The Rock and Eve have a little history onscreen together? Interesting…

MATCH #4: CM Punk vs. Randy Orton

Orton starts off hot, throwing Punk around and to the floor. Punk comes back and kicks the ring steps into Orton’s injured knee. Back in the ring Punk hits a cross body off the top rope for two. Orton comes back with the backbreaker. Punk goes right back to work on the knee. He sets up for the Go to Sleep but Orton fights out of it and goes for the RKO. Punk escapes that and lands a kick to the face for two. He goes up top and Orton knocks him down. Orton pulls Punk up top and delivers a superplex for two. Punk comes back and locks on the ring post Figure Four. He takes Orton back in the ring and continues assaulting the knee. Orton fights out and hits a couple of clotheslines and the powerslam. He hits a Thesz Press. Punk comes back with kicks. He sweeps the leg and then locks on the Anaconda Vise! Cole wisely points out that Orton can’t push out of the move with his injured leg, which is unusual insight from a WWE commentator. Orton reaches the ropes. Punk goes to the apron for something, so of course Orton counters with the Orton DDT. Orton gets psyched up for the Punt Kick but his leg gives out underneath him. Punk gloats and almost gets caught in an RKO but just slips out. He then goes for the springboard lariat but this time Orton catches him with the RKO to get the pin.

WINNER – Randy Orton [***1/4]

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Punk gets his comeuppance in a feud that should have been much better than it was. This whole saga became muddled by bad soap opera writing, with Punk being forced to resort to attacking Orton’s family and us having to endure horrible acting from “Randy’s wife” during those segments. If they focused on the actual WRESTLING angle, this would have been SO MUCH BETTER.

CB’s Slant in 2012: Yup, I still agree with all of the above sentiments. Punk does too, because if you look at this year’s WrestleMania, what is he feuding with Chris Jericho over? That’s right, being the BEST WRESTLER IN THE WORLD. It’s not rocket science, it’s just a pure logical story that will unfold over the next few weeks and keep unfolding in the ring DURING THEIR MATCH, and I am infinitely more excited about Punk-Jericho than Punk vs. Orton last year.

The Rock is backstage shooting the breeze with Mean Gene Okerlund. Rock says John Cena’s number one fan is here, and it turns out to be Pee Wee Herman! Using Mean Gene as a visual aid, Rock is able to convince Herman to join Team Bring It!

Buy “The True Story of WrestleMania” DVD! It’s pretty good.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Another dumb Rock segment and another commercial, fun times.

CB’s Slant in 2012: Yeah, Rocky was certainly overexposed and overused. Just because he was the host, he did NOT have to be featured in all of these stupid segments.

The 2011 WWE Hall of Fame Inductees

This year they inducted Abdullah the Butcher, Sunny (looks great), the Road Warriors and Paul Ellering, Drew Carey, “Bullet” Bob Armstrong, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan (his 2×4 has a bow tie!), and the greatest of all-time, Shawn Michaels.

Tomorrow night the Hall of Fame ceremony will show at 8:00 p.m. on USA, followed by Raw and Tough Enough.

The Raw Recall is Jerry Lawler abusing Jack Swagger with a chair, and then going after Michael Cole.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: How long has it been since the last actual match?

CB’s Slant in 2012: Segment. Commercial. Segment. Commercial. TV Flashback. And the Michael Cole “match” next? WOW, no wonder I hated this WrestleMania so much.

MATCH #5: Michael Cole (with Jack Swagger) vs. Jerry “The King” Lawler *Special Referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin*

Booker T comes out to join Mathews for commentary, and he’s followed by Hall of Famer Jim Ross! Cole comes out in his ridiculous orange getup and talks trash about JR and the King. Lawler has to get through Swagger first. Cole offers a handshake through his Cole Mine, and Lawler grabs his hand and pulls his face into the Cole Mine repeatedly. Lawler then climbs in there and starts hammering Cole with punches. He throws Cole into the anonymous General Manager’s computer stand. Finally Lawler throws Cole into the ring and Swagger attacks as soon as Austin’s back is turned. Cole hits a baseball slide and distracts the referee, allowing Swagger to lock Lawler in the Ankle Lock. Back in the ring Cole goes to work on the ankle. This goes on for quite a while. Cole then hits the Swagger Bomb. He pulls down a strap and puts on the An-Cole Lock. Lawler kicks out of the hold and stomps a mudhole! He even walks it dry. Swagger tries to throw in the towel. Austin just uses it to wipe his dome. Swagger tries to plead his case that the match should be stopped, and he eats a Stunner for his troubles! Cole tries to beg off, and then Lawler unloads on him with right hands. Lawler hits the dropkick! Then he goes up to the second rope, pulls the strap down and lands the big fist drop. He pulls Cole up at the count of two! Lawler then locks on the Ankle Lock and Cole immediately submits but Austin takes his sweet time calling for the bell! Great ending.

WINNER – Jerry Lawler [**]

Commence the Beer Bash! Booker T joins the party and adds a Spinaroonie. Austin then gives him the Stunner for old time’s sake. The anonymous GM chimes in and Mathews goes over to read it. The GM says that because Austin overstepped his authority, Lawler is disqualified and Cole wins the match! Lawler throws Mathews into the ring and Austin delivers a Stunner.

WINNER – Michael Cole, via disqualification. [*, loses a point for reversing the finish]

CB’s Reaction in 2011: I am now officially questioning my faith in omnipresence. Not only was this all kinds of AWFUL, they then decide to take away the ONE good thing that would come out of this, which is a sentimental victory for Jerry Lawler. Now, Michael Cole will brag for the rest of his life that his is undefeated at WrestleMania, he’ll act as brash and cocky as ever, and we will all suffer as a result. I officially hate this WrestleMania, and not even Triple H-Taker or Miz-Cena can save it. Oh, and Snooki is still to come? UGH!!!!!

CB’s Slant in 2012: What he said.

Next up is a recap of Fan Axxess.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: ANOTHER COMMERCIAL?!?!

CB’s Slant in 2012: Wow, this really got to the point of ridiculousness, didn’t it?

MATCH #6: No Holds Barred Match – Undertaker vs. Triple H

Triple H has a “300? type gimmick added to his entrance tonight. HHH attacks right away with right hands. Undertaker comes back and hurls HHH to the floor. HHH throws more right hands but Undertaker grabs him and throws him into the steps. Undertaker prepares the Spanish Announce Table to be broken, but HHH intercepts him and tackles him into the Cole Mine, busting it up. Undertaker just looks pissed now. Back in the ring Undertaker hits the flying clothesline. He goes for Old School but HHH pulls him down to the mat. The battle spills back to the floor and the Game is in control. HHH prepares the American announce table. He goes for the Pedigree but Undertaker backdrops him to the floor! Undertaker waits for a while and then hits the running dive over the top rope and appears to land on his head again. But he’s okay! Undertaker then repositions the ring steps, but it’s HHH who grabs a charging Undertaker and hits a spinebuster to break the SAT! They get back in the ring and Undertaker hits a Chokeslam for two! HHH fights back with mounted punches in the corner. He avoids the Last Ride but can’t avoid Snake Eyes. Undertaker charges and HHH hits another Spinebuster. That gets two. HHH brings a chair but gets it slammed back in his face. Undertaker grabs the chair and cracks it across HHH’s back. He goes for another shot but HHH kicks him in the gut and hits the Pedigree, but Undertaker kicks out at two! HHH sets Undertaker on the top rope, but Taker slips out and hits the Last Ride, and HHH kicks out! Undertaker hits the Tombstone but HHH kicks out again! He sets up for a Tombstone on the chair, but HHH slips out and hits a DDT! They struggle back to their feet and HHH hits the Pedigree but Undertaker kicks out! HHH hits a third Pedigree and Undertaker kicks out again! A frustrated HHH grabs the chair and cracks it across Undertaker’s back no fewer than nine times. Undertaker pulls himself up and HHH blasts him in the face with the chair. HHH keeps yelling at Undertaker to “stay down” and “just die.” Undertaker stumbles back to his feet and HHH hits the Tombstone! Undertaker kicks out! Now HHH gets desperate and grabs the sledgehammer. Undertaker grabs HHH in the (sort of) Hell’s Gate! HHH tries to grab the sledgehammer but he fades and moments later taps out! The streak lives on!

WINNER – Undertaker (19-0) [***1/2]

Please DO NOT Try This At Home.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Was this as amazing as the Taker-HBK series? No. However, it was a very fitting and well-executed third chapter in the Taker vs. HBK/HHH series that has been featured over the course of the past three WrestleManias. I also like the little twist of Taker winning the match but not being able to leave under his own power, showing that while the Deadman continues to win these battles, he’s just not as invincible as he used to be. In the end, this was booked perfectly to make us feel like Triple H had a real legitimate chance to end THE STREAK, and I certainly suspended disbelief for a few moments here and really just got into this match so much that a part of me almost believed some of those near-falls could/would result in a Triple H win. At this stage of Taker’s career and on this WrestleMania stage, that’s about as much as you can ask for, right?

CB’s Slant in 2012: I just wish Taker had a different opponent this year, though the Hell in a Cell stipulation has raised my interest level a little bit. If this is indeed Chapter 4 of a four-part story, you’d have to figure that Shawn Michaels would come back to ref this match and if you are thinking logically this would be the year that THE STREAK ends since last year Taker barely escaped with a win. However, THE STREAK will never end, and I’d assume that 20-0 is too important to Undertaker for him to lose now. The question then becomes, “Will Triple H and Undertaker make me suspend my disbelief for a second year in a row?” Also, at some point you’d imagine the Undertaker would be retiring from pro wrestling, which begs this other question: “Will The Undertaker win this year, reach 20-0, then disappear and never be seen again?” After all, Taker is the king of kayfabe, so maybe that’s how he’s planned to go out all along…

WrestleMania XXVIII will be April 1, 2012 in Miami, Florida.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: I hate LeBron James.

CB’s Slant in 2012: I don’t hate LeBron as much anymore, perhaps because he lost last year proving that you can’t ever really buy a championship (unless you’re the New York Yankees, of course).

MATCH #7: John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki vs. Dolph Ziggler & Lay-Cool (with Vickie Guerrero)

Vickie Guerrero handles the introduction for her trio. McCool starts off with Stratus and almost hits an early Faithbreaker but Stratus reverses to a facebuster. Stratus goes for the Stratusphere and winds up on the top rope slugging it out with McCool and they both tumble to the floor. Layla tries to come to McCool’s aid but Stratus takes them both out with a clothesline off the apron. Back in the ring Stratus gets a schoolgirl rollup for two. Stratus hits the Chick Kick and Ziggler pulls her off the cover. Morrison throws Ziggler to the floor and wipes him out with a corkscrew dive off the ropes. Snooki tags in and gets heartily booed. She successfully executes the Chyna handspring elbow, and then a cartwheel into a splash. That’s enough to get the pin on McCool.

WINNERS – John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki [**]

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Well, at least Snooki didn’t completely embarrass herself as she hit the one big move they gave her. However, this is the third throw-in / filler match of the night, and it’s also the match that prevented Trish Stratus from doing something more meaningful, like, I don’t know, an actual straight-up women’s wrestling match? I assume Trish being back in a WWE ring is going to be a rare occasion moving forward, so it would have been better to do pretty much anything other than this so her return wasn’t completely sacrificed for TMZ coverage and NY Post headlines.

CB’s Slant in 2012: The funny thing is that Morrison is now gone, Trish hasn’t come back at all after Tough Enough wrapped up, McCool retired, Layla is not back from injury, and after a nice buildup Dolph Ziggler has spent the last few months jobbing as many times as possible to more established guys in record-setting fashion, including four times in one night to CM Punk at the Royal Rumble. Could it be the Curse of Snooki?

Extreme Rules comes your way on May 1.

WrestleMania has set a new attendance record for any entertainment event at the Georgia Dome at 71,617 (a palindrome number!).

CB’s Reaction in 2011: WrestleMania business is certainly booming, isn’t it?

CB’s Slant in 2012: Hence, why WrestleMania 29 will be at MetLife Stadium instead of WretleMania 30 being at Madison Square Garden. Also, this year, I bet WWE announces their social media score for WrestleMania in addition to the attendance figures.

MATCH #8: WWE Championship Match – The Miz vs. John Cena

The video for The Miz is AWESOME.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Agreed, this video package for The Miz is outstanding and if they ever turn him face there’s your angle right there. It really is a rags to riches kind of story, and Miz being a self-made guy in this day and age is a testament to his determination to succeed in WWE.

CB’s Slant in 2012: It’s a shame he’s completely buried inside Vince’s doghouse at the moment. Also, since that’s the case, why not flip the script and turn him face now?

Cena’s is good too but not as good as Miz’s. A gospel choir is on hand to sing “My Time is Now.” That’s tremendous but the crowd boos. Cena then comes out with some new bright red gear. The referee has the bell rung twice to start the match. Miz tries to wear Cena down with a headlock but Cena powers out and quickens the pace and Miz slows it right back down. Miz goes to work, whipping Cena into the corner and hitting the running clothesline. Every time Cena tries fighting back Miz has an answer for him. Miz delivers a boot to the face for two. Cena tries an awkward cross body and misses, and Miz kicks him to the floor. Miz hits a million dollar knee lift for two. He tries the Skull Crushing Finale but Cena slips out and lands a series of shoulder tackles. A very vocal part of the crowd is not impressed. Cena hits the Five Knuckle Shuffle. He goes for the Attitude Adjustment but Miz counters with a DDT for two. Miz counters the STF into the Reality Check for two. He exposes one of the turnbuckles and Cena traps him in a small package for two. Cena trie sthe Attitude Adjustment again and Miz slips out, but this time Cena is able to lock on the STF. Miz reaches the ropes. The referee gets distracted and Riley grabs Cena from the apron and rams his head into the exposed steel! Miz then hits the Skull Crushing Finale but Cena kicks out! He goes for another one and the referee takes a bump. Cena now hits the Attitude Adjustment but there’s no one to make the count. Riley comes in the ring with the briefcase and clocks Cena with it. Cena kicks out at two! Cena makes a comeback and hits a big Attitude Adjustment but Miz kicks out! Miz rolls to the floor. Cena follows him out and clotheslines him over the barricade. Miz looks to climb back over the barricade and Cena knocks him further back into the crowd. The referee counts both men out.

WINNER – Draw via double countout [**3/4]

But wait! The Rock comes out. The anonymous GM sends an e-mail and Rock heads over to read it. Unfortunately for the GM, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT HE THINKS! Rock restarts the match with no DQ, no countout, no time limit. Cena and Miz get back in the ring, and Rock hits Cena with the Rock Bottom! Miz crawls over to make the pin and retain the title! What?!

WINNER – The Miz (retains WWE Title) [**3/4]

Rock goes back to the ring to take Miz down and deliver the People’s Elbow.

CB’s Reaction in 2011: Everyone knew this would not end in a double countout, and everyone was waiting for the Cena-Rock confrontation to clear things up. However, I was genuinely surprised that John Cena actually lost to The Miz here because I thought WrestleMania would have gone off the air with Cena as WWE Champion doing a stare-down with The Rock. Instead, The Rock actually affected the outcome in a huge way and The Miz was rewarded for his efforts after a very solid year. Of course, he still played second fiddle to Rock-Cena, but he can now brag that he retained the WWE Championship against John Cena at WrestleMania for the rest of his career. Kudos to Miz for that.

CB’s Slant in 2012: Wow. After all this, it definitely became a wasted year for The Miz after retaining the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. It’s crazy how things can change so quickly in WWE, yet here we are at the precipice of WrestleMania 28 and one thing that hasn’t changed is that The Rock and John Cena are going to wrestle each other on April 1st in Miami.

Last year, many folks thought this would be for the WWE Championship, but it really didn’t make sense to do that considering this match doesn’t really need the strap to help its promotion. What this main event match does need, however, is a serious INFUSION of live interactions between John Cena and The Rock, which will actually begin tonight on Raw when Rocky finally returns — IN PERSON — to a WWE ring. That’s a good thing because I am sick of Rock and Cena battling each other mostly over Twitter and/or via pre-produced video packages, seriously. We’ll see what happens from here…

CB’s Final Slant on WrestleMania 27: Now I remember everything like it was yesterday:

–The lack of Money in the Bank and the addition of three awful throw-in / filler matches.

–The bumping of Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus off the main card for pointless, mostly unentertaining backstage segments and the aforementioned throw-in / filler matches.

–The lack of a real and credible Divas match involving a returning Trish Stratus so that Snooki could hit one move for mainstream headlines that made no lasting impact on the product.

–The disappointment of Edge-Del Rio being shortened, even though there was a legit reason for it.

–The almost one-hour block where the only featured match was Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler.

–Randy Orton and CM Punk seeming more like a merciful end to a poorly scripted storyline instead just a kick-ass wrestling match that could and should have stolen the show at least in the mid-card slot where it was positioned (wasn’t going to top Taker-HHH, obviously).

–The teased finish of a double count-out in the main event (at freakin’ WrestleMania) that no one bought for a second. (And unfortunately, these double countout / DQ / screwy stop/restart finishes have been all the rage in WWE and TNA this year, which is just brutal to watch on such a frequent and prevalent basis).

–And the list goes on…

Ultimately, my hope is that WrestleMania 28 does better than its 2011 counterpart. Otherwise, I will no longer be able to RISE ABOVE HATE where WWE’s biggest stage of them all is concerned. Hell, I’m barely above the watermark right now as I type this after revisiting — and reliving through — last year’s painful proceedings.

That’s all from me — CB.


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