1. I decided to actually sit down and watch WrestleMania again. With fresh eyes and from the couch of my own home, devoid of the all of the crap MetLife Stadium provided. I’ll do my best to concentrate on what’s going on in the ring but I might throw a few tidbits here and there about what was shown on the PPV that the live crowd didn’t get to experience.
2. Believe it or not, that Big Show chop on Dean Ambrose was one of 5 or 6 spots you could actually hear throughout the stadium. I mentioned before that the ring wasn’t microphoned so any move or spot that needed the sound of a mat couldn’t be heard at all. Big Show’s chop obviously didn’t need that at all & the crowd responded accordingly.
3. After reading the PPV reports, I was certain that we wouldn’t be able to hear the crowd at all but so far it all sounds pretty good. As I said in my editorial (you can read it here), the crowd was extremely hot all night long but it was hard to get completely invested in everything because we were watching the show on mute.
4. Fandango & Chris Jericho put on a pretty good show that played better on TV than to the crowd. As you could clearly hear, it was a very pro-Y2J crowd but Fandango was damn over as a heel. The crowd popped huge for the top-rope legdrop and they probably should have had that move lead to the finish instead of the roll-up. One way or another, both performers were over pretty well in stadium but all were confused by the sloppy finish.
5. I’d say about 75-85% of the crowd was completely confused and underwhelmed by Diddy, for obvious reasons. Hell, I’d say probably more than half of the crowd wasn’t even born yet when his first two songs were released.
6. A lot of people thought Jack Swagger was just practicing his entrance when he drive the golf cart down to the ring during the video packages. In hindsight, it was probably good not to show a guy with a pending DWI driving but you could have least given him an entrance, whether walking or Zeb Colter driving. The finish of the match fell completely flat because everyone knew Ziggler wasn’t going to cash in on a healthy Alberto Del Rio. It didn’t stop anyone from chanting “We Want Ziggler!” though.
7. CM Punk wearing The Undertaker’s colors was perfect and a very cool Undertaker entrance. We could tell something was happening on the stage but not really what. The crowd was as close to 50-50 split as I’ve ever experienced at a wrestling show. Most of the “adult male” voices are dominating the TV broadcast but the arena truly was split among all demographics. Undertaker’s situp while in the Anaconda Vice sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy. Everything about this match translated just as well on TV as it did in that giant stadium. I don’t feel like I missed anything like in the other matches by being in the stadium and having an obstructed view. Every move meant something. The body language and facial expressions were spot on. And both guys busted their asses. I speculated on the last episode of the Creatively Endeavored Wrestling Pulsecast that the rumors of Undertaker & CM Punk’s injuries were being blown out of proportion and it definitely seemed as if both of them didn’t miss a step.
8. Triple H being thrown through the announce table was the other big spot that echoed throughout MetLife. While the CM Punk/Undertaker table spot drew cringes from the crowd, Triple H and Brock were able to get the “Ohhhhh!”s. The crowd does sound pretty dead during this match while could have been one of two things. One, we were all still a little hungover from the CM Punk/Undertaker emotional ride and two, most of this match is taking place outside of the ring. Not only could we not hear all of this pretty vicious and stiff spots but we also couldn’t see them. The long “Kimura lock” periods did nothing for the live crowd since we couldn’t hear the announcers putting it over or the pain on Brock Lesnar’s or Triple H’s face. The Pedigree and finish went over a 100 times better on TV than live. Live it didn’t really look like Triple H hit all of the Pedigree and the majority of talk during the show was that this was going to be Triple H’s last match so him going over was a pretty big surprise.
9. Yup the sudden John Cena entrance was just as confusing on TV as it was live. You’d think that with all the video packages throughout the night that even a 30 second montage could have let the crowd know the main event was up next. A few thousand people thought the 8-man tag team match was up next and had headed for the bathroom or merchandise stands. The silence during this match wasn’t only on TV but also live. Not only were we worn out but EVERYONE was waiting for a John Cena heel turn, especially with all of the teases during the match from Cena. The highlight of this entire main event was Cena stopping his mock People’s Elbow and giving the heelish “U Can’t See Me”. The fact that they didn’t go with a heel turn after that. It amazes me that The Rock did so much in this match with the injuries he suffered. We all know wrestlers are a different breed of people but that truly is incredible.
10. Overall, I would have been perfectly happy with this show had I watched it from the comfort of my own home. Sure there were a lot of things that didn’t happen (Ziggler’s cash-in or a Cena heel turn among others) but it was a pretty good show otherwise. It’s sad to think that being there live did so much damage to the viewing experience that I was ready to swear off of WWE entirely. WWE needs to recognize their limitations and stop holding WrestleManias in outdoor football stadiums. They could make just as much money in a large indoor arena with a well prepared staff, merchandise/food stock and organization. Plus they could charge more for tickets as there would be less of them available and they would walk away with probably the same gate as they would in a poorly prepared stadium. WWE needs to overcome their fetish for “setting attendance records” and be more focused on providing a positive experience for the people who paid a lot of money to be at a WrestleMania live.
Tags: alberto del rio, Brock Lesnar, chris jericho, cm punk, Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, jack swagger, john cena, Paul Bearer, Paul Heyman, shawn michaels, The Rock, the undertaker, triple h, wrestlemania, Wrestlemania 29, WWE, Zeb Colter