That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition – Part 10 of 10 – WWE WrestleMania 29 (The Rock, John Cena, CM Punk)

Welcome! This is the final stop on “That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition”! For anyone unfamiliar with my work or recaps, I have disclaimers at the bottom of the article along with the “Expedition” schedule.

Well.

Here we are.

I won’t waste time writing a long intro – I’ll just say that I almost always think WrestleMania is fun. The buildup and all the recaps leading up to this have been pretty painful for the most part (although the occasional odd thing and Elimination Chamber were pleasant surprises) but at least they were fun to write. Even despite the lack of buildup however, there’s just something about WrestleMania that always makes it fun for me to watch. I’m not saying that my expectations for this show are all that high or anything – in fact, Punk / Undertaker is the only match I’d really say I’m really looking forward to – although Rock / Cena should be interesting, and the possibility to be surprised does seem to exist in a few places tonight as well. At the very least, this is my last recap for the foreseeable future. Since I’m not really built for live shows, this is something, for me at least, to celebrate.

 

Inside Pulse’s own Mike Gojira, Rey Mundo and Matt Harrak are all at WrestleMania live tonight, and I’m sure they’ll have a great time. Live shows are another thing that are always fun for me, even if the show itself isn’t all that good. And WrestleMania in particular I’m sure would be a very fun live show.

On that note, a man that James Sawyer calls “Inside Pulse’s very own inanimate carbon rod” Matt Harrak arrived at the event earlier today and immediately started Tweeting. I bet he’s having fun with all the pre-show festivities – having fun down there, Matt?

MATT HARRAK (via Twitter @ 1:30 PM): Just arrived at MetLife Stadium. I’m sorry but tailgating & alcohol outside the stadium (where it can’t be monitored) shouldn’t be allowed.

Yep, sounds like he’s having a blast all right. I think this officially makes him about as fun as the principal from Back To The Future.
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I think the thing I’m mostly looking forward to is the crowd. An NY-area crowd can quite often be counted on for shitting on a lot of the stuff that I also think is stupid, so hopefully that’s the case here. You can never count on that for sure though.

Let’s get going!

 

That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition

Part 10 of 10

 

WWE WRESTLEMANIA 29: PRE-SHOW

That’s right, I’m doing the pre-show! … sort of. I’ll cover anything of consequence, which I’m guessing… won’t be much. Still, that means I’m recapping a 5 hour show, officially making this the longest “That Being Said” ever! Although if I am still making sense by the end, I’ll be shocked.

As the pre-show starts, it seems like a lot of people still haven’t found their seats. Matt Striker and Todd Grisham are commentating this – and there’s an odd football-ish panel in an upper portion of the arena that simply reacts to the video packages that will be shown later tonight. That’s pretty much all the pre-show is, actually, and the panel is Scott Stanford, Jim Ross, Kofi Kingston (?) and Dusty Rhodes.

Miz talks to Snooki backstage (?) and they do some bad comedy before Wade Barrett walks in. Then more bad comedy ensues, revolving around what Snooki is going to Tweet. Amazing. Mark Henry cuts a promo that’s right up there with the best promos of his career. They show a bunch of people in the parking lot getting excited, so hopefully Harrak gets there soon to sort that whole situation out. They show a bunch of TOUT people – one of them was a guy TOUTing his WrestleMania thoughts… while driving… in a torrential downpour… with his headphones in. I’m assuming he’s dead now.

WWE Intercontinental Title Match
Wade Barrett (c) .vs. The Miz

Ha, I love that this is on the pre-show. For anyone who says that Miz or Barrett deserve better… they don’t. They don’t even deserve to be on this show. They’re horrible, both of them. Neither of them have ever done anything for WWE and are lucky to draw a paycheck unless they’re also setting up and taking down the ring. In fact, they should be glad they’re on the pre-show, because if it’s the first match the crowd gets to see, they’ll be less apt to shit all over it.

Barrett starts off with some fairy offense, and Miz comes back with some fairy counters. Barrett doesn’t have any of this, and starts hitting Miz with some clubs. He then puts him on the top rope and hits some… clubs. And then… a kick. As dramatic a finish as this would have been, Barrett only gets 2 off a pinfall attempt. Barrett then hits… knees. Miz hits a big boot, and the crowd is totally dead for this. Miz starts hitting some fairy offense of his own, followed by his one semi-cool move, the backbreaker / neckbreaker combo.

They volley for their equally shitty finishers, but both counter out. Miz runs into Wade’s newest Disney On Ice Finish, but kicks out. Miz hits the Figure-4 leglock, and the crowd comes alive a bit, but not much. Wade gets to the ropes, immediately recovers, and hits his original Disney On Ice finisher, but Miz kicks out. Then he does some weird shitty takedown and locks on the Figure-4 again, and Wade taps. The crowd actually came alive a bit when he did, too. Fuck The Miz, I still hope he gets Cat AIDS.

Winner & WWE Intercontinental Champion: The Miz

Well, that was horrible. The crowd settles down immediately as Miz celebrates and walks out. Let’s just be glad that by now, all the fans are safely in the arena, and not drinking in the parking lot without the direct supervision of MetLife Stadium security.

Also, apparently it’s pouring in the arena now. That’s what WWE gets when they try to push Miz yet again.

 

WWE WRESTLEMANIA 29

Opening video package – normally they do these WrestleMania video packages quite well, but this one seems to be about WWE and Chris Christie saving New York and New Jersey from a hurricane. Then they show the New Jersey National Guard, and we get another video package. This one is actually about the wrestlers, and is better.

DAVE: A storm-flooded landscape could’ve been the set, with bits of broken casinos sticking out with the TitanTron screens on.

Then we see the crowd, and they seemed pretty subdued. That could just be the rain. Commentators are Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, and JBL.

 

Randy Orton, Shaemus & The Big Show .vs. The Shield

Shaemus comes out to almost NOTHING. Orton though… holy shit. It always surprises me how much crowd he still has given how little he’s had to do. Big Show doesn’t get much either. The Shield actually gets a bit of a reaction when tehy come out. Their entrance is fairly cool though, they stand on some platforms above the crowd and they seemed pretty into it. This is the one match where I legitimately can’t figure out who’s gonna win, I sure hope The Shield does though.

Shaemus and Regins start out. They slug it out for a bit, and Shaemus works on Reigns in the corner. Shaemus continues working on him with his usual diverse offense, and attempts a cover after no actual moves but still gets 1. Shaemus tags in Orton, and Reigns takes control and tags in Rollins, who walks into a dropkick. Orton mounts Rollins in the corner and tries to get the crowd into him punching Rollins – it works, the crowd loves it and counts along with him. He then hits a suplex, bouncing Rollins off the ropes. Shaemus is back in, but Rollins takes control – Ambrose comes in, and this dude has a crowd? That’s crazy, good for him. Shaemus hits a powerslam and the crowd actually boos a bit. He only gets 2.

Shaemus tags to Big Show, who headbutts Ambrose. Show then slaps him, and in a fun moment, Ambrose comes back and doesn’t sell. The crowd gets really into this, but then Show flattens him. Ambrose then cuts Show off with a dropkick, and tags back in Rollins. Rollins works on show and hits a dive off the rope, but Show tosses him off a pin attempt. Rollins tags in Reigns, who hits a clothesline for 2. Rollins tags in a now-topless Ambrose, who works on Show with a beatdown. Rollins tags back in, and works on Show with some kicks and boots. A nice shining wizard and a great dropkick from Rollins flattens show, but still Rollins only gets 2. Reigns is back in, and hits some headbutts of his own. Sleeper by Reigns, but Big Show picks him up and actually hits a nice back suplex.

Both guys trying to get to their corner – Reigns does and tags Rollins, who sends Orton FLYING off the apron with a nice dropkick. Show tags Shaemus, and people actually boo him! That’s fucking awesome. Anyway, he works on Rollins, and does his retard clubs, and the crowd chants with him. Rollins tags Ambrose, so Shaemus hits him with the retard clubs too, before bringing him in and hitting that silly rolling senton… then though, he hits another rolling senton on Rollins, on TOP of Ambrose, and that was kinda cool. Reigns pulls Shaemus to the outside, and Rollins hits a SICK suicide dive that takes out Show and Shaemus. They all bring Shaemus back into the ring and set him up for that Triple Powerbomb, and the crowd is loving it… then Show comes in and hits a spear and everyone goes down.

Shaemus and Ambrose are legal I believe, and Shaemus is trying to get to his corner, and no one is even in Ambrose’s corner right now. Orton tags in and starts taking out Ambrose – he fights some boos but fires up the crowd nicely and gets a good reaction – he then hits the hangman’s DDT, but Show doesn’t look happy that he didn’t get tagged in. Orton sets up for his RKO – in a very cool moment, Rollins dives at him out of nowhere off the top rope but Orton turns it into an RKO. Reigns then spears Rollins, and Ambrose pins as Big Show looks on disappointed.

Winners: The Shield

That match was pretty good, I actually think it was better than the crowd gave it credit for, although they did get into it near the end. Also people got more into The Shield as the match went on, and Orton and Shaemus getting boos was pretty funny. They sure like those Shaemus clubs though. Glad The Shield won.

Big Show is unhappy about not being tagged in – Orton tells him to fuck off, so he goes and knocks out Shaemus. Orton goes after him, but gets knocked out as well. Show walks out and leaves Orton and Shaemus in the ring. All right, that’s an odd development, no?

 

Snooki got booed when they showed her.

Ryback .vs. Mark Henry

I shit you not, Henry got a better reaction than Ryback did. That’s funny on so many levels.

JAMES SAWYER: Ryback looks like one of the people from that Wes Craven movie with the inbred monsters in the desert.

The Goldberg chants start immediately, because Ryback is so over after WWE constantly pushing him that the crowd chants for another wrestler who hasn’t been with the company in 8 years.

SAWYER: Henry washes himself with a rag on a stick. 

They start the match by running into one another. Twice. Nothing happens. They try some punches, and then Ryback runs right into Henry and goes down. Powerslam by Henry gets 1.

SAWYER: Why does Ryback have a black armband with an “R” on it? Did Robin die?

Headbutt by Henry, and the crowd is dead. Henry picks Ryback up with a suplex but he lands on the apron and stumbles down. They are chanting something, I can’t tell what.

SAWYER: Mark Henry’s favorite movie is “A Fridge Too Far”. 

Henry is hitting some very… gradual… offense. He follows this up with a bearhug. So far this is about as exciting as a weekend with Batman. Ryback turns around so it’s now a Doggy Bearhug, but Henry lets him go and hits… clubs.

SAWYER: Mark Henry is paid in garbage bags of popcorn. 

Clothesline by Henry takes Ryback to the outside. Ryback barely makes it back in, and they club each other back and forth. And then Henry hits… ANOTHER BEARHUG! THIS IS AMAZING SO FAR!

Ryback turns around AGAIN, so now we got a doggy bearhug for the THIRD time tonight, so AGAIN, Henry lets him go, but THIS time he bodyslams him. Ooooh, progression.

Then Henry hits… ANOTHER FUCKING BEARHUG. Then Ryback turns around to make it a THIRD Doggy-Bearhug. What the fuck? Am I in a time loop?

Ryback clubs away and hits some shoulders in the corner, and he gest the crowd to chant “FEED ME MORE” before hitting a hard clothesline. He then tries to hit Shell-Shock on Henry, and NOW the crowd comes fucking unglued. Then Henry collapses on Ryback and… pins?

Winner: Mark Henry

SAWYER: Henry wins by falling on a guy. Another 5-star classic. 

Well, that PPV just paid for itself. After the match, Henry goes back in to do some more damage I assume, but Ryback hits a spinebuster and people start to boo him. He then hits Shell-Shock on Henry, but people aren’t half as excited as when he did it earlier. I don’t even know where to begin with this one. It made me pine for Steiner / Helmsley.

SAWYER: Thank God they’re not having hometown guys like Zack Ryder here. 

Announcers play with action figures.

CAM: While you’re watching WrestleMania, buy our Spastic Plastic Wind-Up Wrestling Toys. (TM)

They have on the ramp some Special Olympics people. Chris Christie is there as well.

 

Matt Harrak (via Twitter @ 5:50 PM): Anyone know if there’s anti-pyro laws in Jersey? Cause this sucks. #ClusterfuckMania

Yes, pyro is integral to show quality. I think we all remember the amazing pyro from WrestleMania’s 19 and 24. #NeverForget

 

WWE Tag-Team Championship Match
Daniel Bryan & Kane .vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston (w/ AJ Lee)

Man, I was over the whole “Team Hell No” thing by November. Let me know when they get this team:
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Ziggler and company get a decent reaction for sure, and Bryan and Kane come out to Kane’s music so that people don’t hear how much more over Bryan is than Ziggler. As soon as Kane’s music goes off, people starting chanting “YES” immediately. Bryan kicks the fuck out of Ziggler and almost gets a pin, then Ziggler rolls out of the ring and eats a dive and the crowd goes absolutely BATSHIT. Then Bryan hits his kicks, and the crowd is easily the loudest they’ve been all night.

Big E tags in, and the announcers seem to think this is a big deal. Bryan tags Kane and Big E hits some offense until Kane goes for a chokeslam and gets mowed down. Ziggler tags in and hits a very nice dropkick for 2, as Bryan gets the crowd chanting again. Big E tags back in and hits some more big-guy offense, until Kane drops him – but Ziggler tags in, and Kane messes him up as well. Kane misses a move and Ziggler hits a Fame-Asser and goes for a pin, but Bryan breaks it up. Ziggler goes to the top so he can dive into a Kane thrust – Kane goes for a pin but Big E dives on him to break it up.

Big E outside the ring and Bryan ruins his shit with a kick, which again the crowd comes unglued for. AJ tosses the briefcase into Dolph and distracts the ref, but Kane is having none of it and chokeslams him and takes Big E off the rope. He tags Bryan who hits the headbutt, to, again, a huge reaction. He pins Ziggler.

Winner & WWE Tag-Team Champions: Daniel Bryan & Kane

A year after Bryan gets jobbed to Shaemus in 18 seconds and one move, and after Shaemus got pushed constantly, Bryan is still twice as over as Shaemus. That’s awesome. Also, People kept talking about how over Ziggler was in NY / NJ, and how much this means to Vince? Well, Bryan is TWICE as over as Ziggler, if tonight is any indication. Anyway, the match was decent – I don’t know that there’s all that much to get excited about with Big E, but he wasn’t bad. Kane was his usual self , Ziggler did quite well as usual and Bryan continues to steal shows without even having to do all that much.

 

Chris Jericho .vs. Fandango

So, this “Fandango won’t wrestle without someone pronouncing his name right” thing got lame after the first week, but I’ve not judged him yet, so this should be interesting. Talk about a pressure situation though – his first match is at WrestleMania with a tough-to-please crowd? I mean, sure, it’s with Jericho, but… his whole push could be done immediately if this doesn’t go well. Hard to tell what Fandango’s crowd is like just because of the nature of his music and entrance, but Jericho gets a great reaction.

DAVE: Dancing TV shows hit their peak about 2 years ago, which would explain why WWE is now copying them. 

CAM: I’m surprised WWE hasn’t come out with an “auction hunters” gimmick yet… or maybe it’s waiting until 2016. 

KON: Well, WWE was ahead of the curve with the Breaking Bad thing – they had Jeff Hardy back in 1997.

They volley a bit and Fandango bails – he comes back in and Jericho beats him down, and Fandango tries to fight back but Jericho cuts him off every time. At one point, Fandango tried to skate Jericho in the corner but Jericho hit a codebreaker to a nice reaction and Fandango rolled out of the ring. Jericho hit a baseball side before hitting a cross-body off the top rope to the outside. All Jericho so far, and the crowd is loving it. Back in the ring, Jericho tries to go for a springboard but Fandango kicks him int eh head and this gets him 2… after one move.

Fandango works some kicks and showboats, and hits a sleeper before Jericho powers up, and then just trips and he’s out of it. Jericho with some shoulders, and then an axe-handle from the top rope. Jericho tries to fire up a crowd that’s going quiet, but doesn’t get much. Jericho punches and chops Fandango, and hits an enziguri for 2. Jericho then hits a cross-body off the top for 2. Fandango then kicks Jericho out of nowhere and tosses him shoulder first into the ringpost before hitting a shitty splash. Jericho then hits the Kanyon finisher and the crowd is now totally dead.

Fandango goes to the top rope and hits a nice legdrop, and I thought Jericho would move but he didn’t – 2 count only. Y2J chants start, and Jericho is immediately back up and chopping – Jericho catches a Fandango dive and tries for the walls, but Fandango gets out of that and hits a clothesline. Fandango is on the top rope… he then falls, which I thought was a botch, but I think maybe the camera just didn’t catch Jericho running into the ropes to cause the fall. They’re fighting up the ropes now, and Fandango knocks Jericho off and hits a Lionsault before going to the walls – something then goes wrong with Jericho’s leg and Fandango rolls Jericho up for the win.

Winner: Fandango

Well, I don’t know that I’d call Fandango impressive, but he wasn’t bad? I guess? I don’t know, I didn’t see a whole lot from him. I’m interested in seeing what other people thought.

They play that really weird and uncomfortable ad where Miz busts through the wall of a children’s birthday party in his wrestling tights.

SAWYER: Hey, this is the ad where Miz makes a cuckold of that dad and fucks the mom in front of everyone.

DAVE: If a stranger burst into the living room wearing only underpants, and kids were around, you would call the police. 

SAWYER: Makes me want to buy one of those WrestleMania chairs, maybe then my wife would sexually humiliate me too!

Then we get the Diddy concert. I think they told him “We’ll need you to do 7 songs… you’ve got 10 minutes. Go.” Unfortunately, he didn’t say “MISS YOU BIG”.

SWAYZE: They should have gotten a more current rap star, like the ghost of Tupac who performed at that festival last year. 

 

World Heavyweight Championship Match
Alberto Del Rio (c) (w/ Ricardo Rodriguez) .vs. Jack Swagger (w/ Zeb Coulter)

Swagger and Zeb come out for their “DEY TOOK ER JOBS!” promo. Del Rio comes out to a decent reaction, but he’s got a new weird looking robe that makes it look like he just got out of the shower.

DAVE: American right-wing idiots were popular about 2 years ago. That’s why WWE are doing it now. 

Del Rio starts out aggressive, but Zebediah Springfield distracts him and Swagger takes control. Del Rio tries a rollup but eats a big boot from Swagger, who stops to pose. Running Vader-bomb gets 2. Shoulders in the corner from Swagger until he runs into a boot, a clothesline and a backbreaker from Del Rio. He steps on Zeb’s hand, which is a nice tough. Del Rio in control until Swagger knocks him off, and Del Rio tries an Enziguri but Swagger ducks, yet Del Rio hangs him up on the ropes before hitting some punches. Del Rio does a very nice backstabber off the 2nd rope, but this only gets 2.

“We Want Ziggler” chants in the crowd… nice touch. Del Rio goes for the armbreaker but Swagger turns it into a nice gutwrench powerbomb. He then hits an ankle-lock, which Del Rio turns into an armlock, and the crowd actually came a bit alive for that – Swagger counters this BACK into an ankle-lock, but Del Rio hits the ropes. Enziguri by Del Rio and both guys are down. VERY nice enziguri in the corner by Del Rio, and he pins, but Zeb puts Swagger’s foot on the ropes for 2. Ricardo goes to confront him, but Zeb takes his crutches. Del Rio comes to his aid, which is giving Swagger time to recuperate and hit him from behind.

Swagger pushes Del Rio into the ring, but Del Rio locks on the armbar right away and Swagger taps. Okay, that was anti-climatic.

Winner & World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio

Okay… so Zeb does this AMAZING enraged face from the outside, which almost makes hiring him for this whole thing worth it. That was not much of a match, neither guy did great but Del Rio sure did most of the cool stuff. The crowd wasn’t all that into it aside from the odd part, but I think Del Rio just needs to be a cool babyface who doesn’t care as opposed to Juan Cena.

Matt Harrak (via Twitter @ 6:47 PM): MetLife Stadium has run out of all food except for hot dogs. Plus they’re not telling anyone until they wait in line. #ClusterfuckMania

Ha ha ha… okay, you all know I like to mess with Harrak. This is pretty funny though, that’s rough.

 

The Undertaker .vs. CM Punk
Streak .vs. Respect

Seriously? This goes on before HHH / Lesnar?! Anyway, Living Color is here, and they’re playing Punk’s theme song. I’m not huge on Living Color aside from this one song, which I’ve liked for many, many years, but they actually did a decent job… for a WrestleMania live performance, anyway. Undertaker does a VERY cool entrance, as per normal, with lots of pryro, so hopefully Harrak can go home happy. The entrance features hands trying to grab up at Undertaker from the ramp, making it look like Walking Dead.

KON: Nah, those people were just the NXT roster, hungry as fuck, but still.

CAM: Dude, I’m sure this is the highest-paying gig Living Colour has had in a decade. They couldn’t care less.

SAWYER: Harrak is helping Punk’s gimmick by confiscating all adult beverages around his seat. 

Punk’s all smarmy during Undertaker’s entrance, laughing at him, yelling at him, and tossing the urn around with Heyman. The crowd is unglued before the bell even rings. They volley around for a bit to start, Punk slaps him in the face, Undertaker chases him but Punk is all over him with strikes. Undertaker cuts him off and tosses him out of the ring, and beats him around the ringside area. Duelling chants start, with both guys seeming to have an equal share of the crowd. Undertaker sets Punk up on the apron and drops the leg – I still think that’s a great move. Taker still all over Punk with some kicks and shoulders, and then he goes Old School… almost. Undertaker pulls him off the ropes and laughs in the corner before dropkicking Undertaker in the head. Then Punk goes for Old School, and the crowd comes fucking unglued… AND he pulls it off. This is easily the loudest the crowd has been all night.

Odd-looking armlock by Punk, and Undertaker fights out of it but misses a boot and hits the corner hard, before going down and Punk dropkicking him from the apron to the outside. Punk then channels Randy Savage as opposed to Paul Bearer and hits an axe-handle from the top rope to the outside. Back in the ring, he hits shoulders but Undertaker hits some strikes before Punk hits a neckbreaker and gets 2. Sleeper-thing by Punk, and the duelling chants start again as Undertaker hits a suplex. Punk goes back up for Old School, but Undertaker crotches him on the rope and punches him and he falls to the outside. Heyman starts panicking, and goes for a dive but Heyman puts himself in the way. Undertaker death chokes him, but Punk hits him from behind with a clothesline from the top rope. Punk hits the top rope for the Savage elbow, and it hits. 2-count.

Punk signals for the GTS, but Taker turns it around and hits a chokeslam for a near-fall. I’m surprised they’re at near-finishers already – they trade punches for a while with the crowd getting into it, about equally into both guys still. Undertaker runs Punk into the corner and splashes him hard before hitting the Snake Eyes… Punk no-sells this about TWO seconds later and hits a side-dropkick for a near-fall. A very loud chant starts, but these damn New Jersey-ers are not in sync and I can’t tell what the fuck they’re saying. Punk and Undertaker fight to the outside, and Undertaker is kicking Punk’s ass. Undertaker takes the cover off the announce table, and tries to Last Ride him through it, but Punk wriggles out and kicks him in the head. He then rolls back into the ring and jumps from the ring to the top rope in one jump, before hitting the Savage elbow on the Undertaker. A few guys in the room made the joke about Punk and Rock not having much luck with tables, but this table had even LESS give. Ouch. That looked rough.

Undertaker beats the count back into the ring, and Punk recovers and goes over to him but falls into Hell’s Gate. Punk awkwardly rolls this into a pin attempt but only gets 2 – but he follows with the Anaconda Vice. but in a cool moment Undertaker gives the death stare at Punk and their heads are about 2 inches away from each other. Cole calls Undertaker “The Walking Dead”. Undertaker goes for a chokeslam, but Punk powers out and hits the GTS… Undertaker literally bounces off the ropes and hits the Tombstone IMMEDIATELY – but only gets 2. Crowd goes batshit.

“This is awesome” chant starts, and they’re on their knees punching each other. They get up and continue doing the same, and Undertaker is unfazed by Punk blows and goes for another chokeslam. Heyman distracts him and the ref gets knocked out before Punk hits the kneelift in the corner… Undertaker turns this into a Last Ride but Punk gets the urn tossed to him by Heyman and knocks him out with it. Punk then goes for the Undertaker-style pin and the crowd goes batshit again… and Undertaker kicks out before they go apeshit. All kinds of shit. Duelling chants again, as Punk does the Undertaker taunt before trying to hit GTS again – Undertaker goes for Tombstone – Punk counters – Undertaker counters – TOMBSTONE. Undertaker pins.

Winner: The Undertaker

Very, very, very, very good match here. Not sure if it will live up to people’s expectations or not, but it was definitely as good as I thought it would be. As far as the HHH matches go, it beat the shit out of 27, beat 28, and was on par with 17. I don’t think it beat either HBK match at 25 or 26, but as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, those are near-impossible targets. KON didn’t love it…

KON: It was just a collection of bits in between all the lying down.

SAWYER: You just described my sex life.

KON: They did the reversal spot twice.

SAWYER: You’re still describing it.

Taker gets the urn back and gets emotional. Nice touch.

The 67th Rock / Cena promo airs tonight. They’ve yet to explain how Rock caused Cena’s divorce.

CRYSTAL: Yeah yeah, have the dude that cheated on his wife by running a train through the Diva’s locker room be the underdog role model.

 

No Holds Barred Match
Triple H (w/ Shawn Michaels) .vs. Brock Lesnar (w/ Paul Heyman)
If Triple H Loses, He Must Retire

Crowd pops for the Shawn entrance, and it’s always nice to see him. Brock still looks like he could destroy pretty much the entire locker room. Not much crowd for the HHH entrance. For some reasons he puts a bunch of… chalk… or something… on, and it shows up weird in the lighting. So he smears it all around his wet body, and when he walks to the ring it looks like he’s not had time to shower after getting bukkaked.

CLASSY RING ATTIRE (via Twitter @ 7:39 PM): What is Shawn Michaels wearing? It’s like he was going clamming and someone yelled out “Shawn, you’re on!”

They brawl to start, and fall out of the ring. He puts HHH over the rail and goes for a chair, but HHH clotheslines him. HHH goes for the chair but Lesnar cuts him off and uses it on him. Crowd is dead so far, and when Lesnar gets in the ring HHH hits him with a kneelift. HHH goes for the chair, but Heyman takes it away. HHH takes Lesnar to the outside and knocks him on the steel steps – Lesnar then hits a belly-to-back suplex on the floor that looked quite good. He then hits snake eyes on HHH on one table, before suplexing him through the other table, the one that didn’t go down for Punk. That’s kinda weird… how did they manage that? Taker is way heavier than HHH, and Punk jumped on him from the rope. How did they make it collapse just now for that? Brock is screaming, and does another belly-to-back in the wreckage of the table. Crowd is still dead for this, but those belly-to-backs are impressive.

Back in the ring… crowd is still dead. This is pretty boring, so I don’t blame them. HHH is trying to fight back but he’s not really getting anywhere, and one attempt gets him belly-to-backed again. Okay, it was impressive the first two times. The announcers are saying that they may need to stop the match… what the fuck? I’ve seen HHH self-inflict worse damage than this. Two german suplexes by Brock, and apparently tonight he’s channeling Taz. HHH kicks out of a couple pin attempts, and tries to reverse, but Lesnar tosses him into the turnbuckle and onto the outside. HBK is trying to avoid Brock like he’s all scared of him, which is kinda weird, and Lesnar stalks him. This allows HHH to hit a clothesline from behind. Holy shit, THIS CROWD IS DEAD. HHH clotheslines Brock over the barricade.

They get back into the ring, and Lesnar hits another german suplex on HHH. Heyman and HBK are up on the apron, but Lesnar knocks HBK off, which allows HHH to get up and hit a spinebuster. He goes for a Pedigree, but Lesnar picks him up for an F5. HBK comes in for a superkick, but he gets F5’d as well. This allows HHH to hit the pedigree – Lesnar tries to stop it by going to his knees, but HHH gets him up and hits it and gets 2. Crowd starts to come alive a bit as HHH gets the sledgehammer… Brock doesn’t give a fuck, he just F5’s him but only gets 2. Outside the ring, HHH eats a chairshot and being thrown into the steps.

SAWYER: I wish Diddy was still rapping. That’s how boring this is.

CAM: I wish Diddy was WRESTLING. That’s how boring this is. 

Lesnar hits HHH with the steps, and JBL concludes that he’s now “out of control”. Seriously, why are they so dramatic about this offense? Lesnar brings the steps into the ring and hits HHH with them for a 2-count. Lesnar yells at HHH to retire, and HHH slaps him and tries to mount offense, but Lesnar hits the armlock that broke HHH’s arm. The crowd is LITERALLY chanting “break his arm!” That’s awesome. HHH takes the armlock and turns it into a spinebuster. HHH then hits Lesnar in the dick. HHH then works Lesnar’s arm on the ringpost as Brock screams – he then hits Lesnar’s arm with a chair.

HHH then hits the Lesnar armlock, but thanks to the size difference he looks like a kid being carried to bed by his dad. Lesnar goes down and teases tapping, and the crowd actually comes alive a bit. Heyman comes in the ring with a chair but gets hit with a Sweet Chin Music by HBK, which is by far the loudest the crowd has been all night. HHH still with the armlock, and Lesnar eventually lifts HHH up in the armlock and dumps him on the steps. HHH doesn’t care, he just applies the armlock on the steps, so Lesnar dumps him on the steps again. So then, HHH does the armlock AGAIN, and screams at Brock to tap. So Lesnar drops him on the steps AGAIN… fuck me, I’m stuck in another timeloop! I’m like the fucking Starship Enterprise.

The announcers are saying that HHH actually DDT’d Lesnar on the steps, and if so, they did a horrible job of illustrating it. I don’t know what the fuck happened, but the announcers sound confused, HHH is up and Brock is down. I just want this to end. HHH hits Lesnar with the sledgehammer, and then Pedigree’s him on the steps for the 3-count.

Winner: Triple H

Triple H celebrates and tells Lesnar to suck it. The crowd is dead for this as well.

Okay, seriously. I really am not surprised or offended by the ending, because it honestly wouldn’t have mattered much who won either way, BUT if this match is good for ANYthing, it’s that it can forever more be used as an aide to illustrate that nobody gives a fuck if HHH ever wrestles again. I’m not a HHH-hater or anything, but… c’mon. That crowd illustrated everything perfectly. Thank you, once again, New York.

They replay some bits of the  Hall Of Fame. Apparently New York booed the fuck out of that goon Donald Trump, although this is edited out of the video package, but thank you, once again, again, New York. Did he really say that being in the HOF was his “greatest honor of all”? Also, apparently Backlund lost his shit and went on a tirade? That’s funny.

The have the HOF inductees on the stage… and Trump gets booed AGAIN. Thank you once again, again, again, New York. My people.

Apparently they’ve set an indoor attendance record with just over 80,000 people. Pyro. This one’s for you, Harrak!

DAVE: Harrak is still outside talking to cops about the alcohol. 

 

WWE Championship Match
The Rock (c) .vs. John Cena
Twice In A Lifetime

Cena and Rock are my new favorite wrestlers for keeping Cody and Sandow off the card. Cena comes out and the crowd doesn’t wait to shit on him. Rock got a great reaction when he came out, although it did seem a bit mixed? Tough to tell though, so maybe one of the boys that were there live will be able to tell me. Well, probably not Rey, because he’ll be off somewhere changing his pants. Once the announcer does the intros, the crowd shits all over Cena twice over. People did seem to like Rock, but not as much as I’d have thought.

They go back and forth a bit, and Rock gets Cena down a couple times. They stall for crowd reactions but don’t get much. Rock takes him down and Cena goes outside the ring, and they stall some more.

CAM: This has been one exciting episode of WWE Free For All so far. 

Cena takes Rock into the corner, and Rock comes out with a clothesline as the crowd gets on Cena some more. Rock tosses Cena into the corner again. Cena takes control and hits a sleeper, and Rock volleys back and hits… a sleeper. Cena takes Rock over his head and drops him. Then he stalls for 10 seconds and tries a pin attempt. Lawler is telling us that the crowd is split 50/50 – okay, seriously, what the fuck.

Cena goes for an elbow but misses, and Rock hits a Samoan Drop. They battle up and trade punches and Cena hits a fisherman’s suplex. Rock tries to come back and counters an STF attempt but eats Cena’s lame shoulder tackles – then Rock dodges a move and hits the sharpshooter. The crowd is a bit more into this one, but they’re far from all that excited about it, but honestly this isn’t any better than HHH / Lesnar. Cena dumps Rock on a suplex, and NOW for some reason the crowd starts to boo the shit out of hi… he smiles, tries the 5-Knuckle Shuffle but Rock dodges and hits the DDT. Wasn’t that the same type of shit that he said caused him to lose last year and the moment he re-lived over and over and over? Oy.

Rock tries for the Rock Bottom, but Cena turns him into the STFU. Rock rolls him into a pin but only gets 2 – Cena slingshots Rock into the corner and hits a suplex… he goes for 5-Knuck again and gets crazy boos, and actually hits the move this time. Cena then runs into the spinebuster. Rock starts his People’s Elbow routine, and Cena grabs him and STF’s him. Crowd is shitting all over Cena as Rock tries to fight out, and he does. Cena charges at Rock but eats a Rock Bottom for 2. Cena mounts a comeback and hits the top rope for his legdrop but lands on his ass before eating a spinebuster.

Rock goes for People’s Elbow again, and hits it, but only gets 2. Cena rolls out of the ring and Rock goes after him, and struggles to get him into the ring. Rock and Cena trade tired punches, which has happened far too often tonight. Rock still has the crowd, and he dives at Cena but is caught and brought up for the AA, but Rock gets out and hits a Rock Bottom and gets 2. Rock goes for People’s Elbow and Cena gets up mid-move and AA’s him for 2, and I actually kinda thought that was it, that Rock would make the same “mistake” that Cena made last year.

Both guys down now, and then we go back to trading punches, until Cena tries a rollup for 2 and then hits a Rock Bottom which gets him 2. Cena then goes into a confused state for some reason, even though he’s failed to beat Rock with his own moves, but for some reason not beating Rock with Rock’s move is a shock. Cena thinks about going for 5-Knuck, but hesitates and goes for People’s Elbow, like last year, the same thing that he said cost him the match. As with last year, Rock gets up, but Cena stops himself on the ropes and smiles all cocky at Rock. Okay, THAT was a very nice touch – Cena catches Rock off-guard with an AA, which I thought would be it, but Rock powers out and hits ANOTHER Rock Bottom, which I also thought would be it… but it wasn’t. Match blows so far, but THAT exchange was quite good.

Cena with an AA, but Rock powers out – Rock with a Rock Bottom, but Cena powers out – DDT by Rock and he stalks Cena for another Rock Bottom, but Cena goes for AA and pins.

Winner & WWE Champion: John Cena

SAWYER: Here Lies: Rey Mundo, 1981 – 2013

After the match, Cena and Rock embrace… AND THE ARENA BOOS THEM. That says a lot right there.

That was a chore to watch – I know the match last year wasn’t great, but I expected something more from these guys for sure. Although the People’s Elbow fake-out near the end was quite well done.

Show over.

 

Final Thoughts

This was by no means a good show. As far as a WrestleMania feel, it was fun as usual, but there’s really only one match I would care to see again and only one other match I thought was even good, and that was The Shield match – and that match still wasn’t close to as good as either of their other 2 PPV matches. Rock / Cena I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I wasn’t huge on last year’s match but it was decent, and certainly better than this outing. Anyway, as dull as it was, it was still WrestleMania and I still enjoyed watching it. 5 hours of this went a LOT faster than 3-hour RAW.

The most over guys on the show were Undertaker, Rock, Punk and Bryan. Ziggler didn’t do too bad, and the guy is all right by me, but he wasn’t anywhere near as over in NY / NJ as people claimed he’d be. HHH and Lesnar couldn’t touch any of those guys in terms of crowd reaction, and after their respective years of push, Shaemus, Miz, and Ryback really should be embarrassed that they got less crowd than Punk and Bryan wen Punk was turned into a heel 8 months ago and Bryan’s basically been buried.

Wow though, talk about underwhelming. And literally nothing exciting or intriguing happened that wasn’t exactly what most people thought (although I thought Rock could win).

 

Wow. I’m done. Thanks to Sawyer, Dave, KON, Crystal, CAM and Swayze for their contributions.

Any and all comments and thoughts are always appreciated, or you can feel free to e-mail me at bdouglas@insidepulse.com. Also, feel free to follow me on Twitter @BDInsidePulse if you’re into such things.

This has been “That Being Said: The WrestleMania Expedition”. Thanks for reading and this Friday, I may have an article up with thoughts from the whole season. Stay tuned.

I’ll be in my trailer.

 

Disclaimers:

DISCLAIMER #1: These recaps should in NO way be treated as a professional and unbiased play-by-play of whatever the show in question is. Inside Pulse has no shortage of professional and live coverage, so if that’s what you’re looking for, I refer you to Mike Gojira, Scott Keith, Justin Czerwonka, or another of their ilk. Rather than a recap per se, I look at this as an ongoing 3-month narrative from someone who doesn’t normally watch full shows beginning to do exactly that for WrestleMania season. The reason this idea sounds like fun to me is that this time period is usually when many casual or former fans will tune back in anyway. So I know that as I’m tuning back in, many others will be as well.

DISCLAIMER #2: Quite often, when myself or another writer rips on a show (justifiably so or otherwise), they will get their fair share of people believing or commenting that they believe the recapper thinks that wrestling now is worse than it’s ever been. Usually it’s something like “WHAT, SO THE ATTITUDE ERA WAS SO GREAT?!?! THOSE MATCHES SUCKED TOO!” or something like that, even when you haven’t mentioned the Attitude Era at all. In fact, that’s a popular opinion out there right now in general – that wrestling is worse now than it’s ever been. Me personally, just for the record – I definitely think 2007-2009 and 2003-2004 definitely hold up worse than the current product. Not MUCH worse, mind you – and I do believe that current shows are pretty lame. But if I’m being honest, it’s not as bad as it’s ever been, much as it may feel that way sometimes.

DISCLAIMER #3: In the spirit of Disclaimer #2… I am going to do my best to go into these shows with an uncynical and unjaded eye. I’m hoping to like what I see – there is some stuff going on that COULD be promising depending on where they go with it and who they decide to feature prominently. But I promise nothing in terms of what’s going to come out of me if I don’t like the shows. Anyone who read any of my TNA recaps or the odd WWE recap that I did knows that I have very little tolerance for stupid or boring stuff. If, an hour into a 3-hour RAW, they decide to give me Shaemus against Cody Rhodes for 20 minutes while Michael Cole tells me they’re the future of the business and that I still have Ryback against Wade Barrett to look forward to in the second hour, then I’m going to feel like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator, which means that me feeling like putting my fucking dick through a bone decalcinator is something you’re probably going to hear about.

DISCLAIMER #4: The obvious one – the opinions and views I express are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Inside Pulse or it’s owners, staff, or numerous writers.

DISCLAIMER #5: Regardless of how it all turns out, weather I find the shows good, boring or bad, if nothing else, I’m going to try my best to to have fun with these recaps over this 3-month period. I’m a guy who can usually have fun with a recap even when watching a show I don’t enjoy. For me, that’s the point of this experiment – or of anything else I may write for Inside Pulse – to have fun. Worst case scenario, I lose all patience and have a rage blackout like I’ve done on on the odd recap before, and sometimes even that can be entertaining. Regardless, the point is – this is for fun – and I hope you have as much fun reading this season as I’m hoping to have writing it.

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