I posted last week on my immediate thoughts after watching Wrestlemania.
I then read thoughts on this site and several others concerning Wrestlemania. I must have been watching a different show, I thought. So I decided to bite the bullet and without the emotional crap that surrounds it, I watched it again.
Here’s what I saw with the value of hindsight and having not seen either the crappiest RAW ever or the best RAW ever (depending on who you read, but it seems the crowd was beyond awesome).
The Miz v Barrett match was as dull as I remembered it. I did YouTube the Raw match, and that was much better, but still not great. I’ve seen Barrett in video form from his early days. It’s the WWE’s fault he is like he is. He could be the new version of a sort of Belfast Bruiser type of bully. But the Miz… he enjoys himself, but, really, he doesn’t belong with the big boys.
The Shield v Big Show, Randy Orton and Sheamus was a match I enjoyed on first viewing and appreciated more on second. The Shield are being booked well, sure, but they are also all delivering in their roles. They are doing the sports entertainment thing so well, as well as the wrestling thing. Orton and Sheamus are doing what they’re told to do – and, unfortunately, that doesn’t include emoting. But the surprise to me was the Big Show. His facials, his body language, all of it told the story that led up to Orton stealing the tag and then him decking Orton and Sheamus. It was really good. Yes, Big Show was something I liked about this match.
Ryback v Mark Henry was dull at first watching, and dull at second, but the second time I found myself happy that Henry won. There are 4 big men on the WWE list (not counting Big Show because he’s a giant and all): Lesnar, Henry, Langston and Ryback. Watching this PPV, Ryback comes in at number 4. By a mile.
Kane and Daniel Bryan v Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston was my favourite match of the night. Others have crapped on it, but I liked it then and I liked it on second viewing. Don’t ask me why, I just did.
Fandango v Chris Jericho I was down on when I first saw it, but that was because, I think, Jericho lost and the Fandango character does not resonate with me as a viewer. Having said that, on second viewing, it was an entertaining enough match. Not brilliant or anything, but entertaining, or watchable, or something.
I had high hopes for Alberto Del Rio and Jack Swagger and they did not deliver on those expectations, so I was down on the match. Watching it now, it’s not a brilliant match, but it’s serviceable. Certainly as good as Fandango/Jericho, but I really did expect more out of these two.
CM Punk v Undertaker is a can of worms match. My distaste for all things Undertaker is well known. I think he is given a free pass by many who write about wrestling for reasons that are completely lost on me. I have always found him boring in the ring, and his lack of selling (or arbitrary selling at best) ruins the flow of too many matches. I shall stop there because, apparently, according to those who post comments on sites like this, he is the greatest wrestler evahhh and I just don’t know it. Well, I’ve been watching a lot of WCW lately, and watching how Flair worked his matches, and I think he might just be the very greatest wrestler of all time for more reasons than just his superb in-ring ability (teaser there for my upcoming WCW postings). Ah-hem. Back to the match. I found it dull on first viewing. But it’s Undertaker, so that was what I expected going in. Now, a week later, I think it was a good match. IN MY OPINION it was better than the HHH matches by a mile because the “lying around pretending to be dead” form of selling was kept to a minimum, and IN MY OPINION better than the Michaels’ ones because Punk held up his end of the match and sold properly throughout and played a heel character against the face Taker brilliantly, not working with pseudo-emotion. CM Punk made the match a good one. I still enjoyed the tag match more, but this match was the best Taker match I think I might have ever seen (there’s probably a few Bret Hart ones that were pretty good as well, and the first HiaC was good until the non-ending, and. no, I was not a big fan of the Mick Foley ones, even the talked-about one (and that’s because falling off a cage does not a match make)).
HHH v Brock Lesnar was long. And dull. And it was worse second time around because I knew what was coming and it seemed to take so long to get there.
John Cena v The Rock was not as good as last year’s match between them. I found it strangely muted. It wasn’t a bad match, and it certainly wasn’t boring, but it didn’t grab me or capture my attention in any way shape or form. It’s not going to be an oft-watched match, that’s for sure.
This was a middle-range Wrestlemania. It was not a bad one, not a WM 9 or 11 or 25 or 27. On the other hand, it was certainly no WM 10, 17 or 20, either. It was a middle of the road Wrestlemania, maybe a WM 6 or 12. I was worried it was going to suck the meat missile, but it didn’t. It was okay. Not great, not horrid – okay.
And, dammit!, I had to go and like an Undertaker match!
That’s this view!
Tags: alberto del rio, big e langston, big show, Brock Lesnar, chris jericho, cm punk, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Fandango, HHH, jack swagger, john cena, kane, Mark Henry, miz, Orton, PPV, Raw, ryback, sheamus, Shield, The Rock, undertaker, wrestlemania, Wrestlemania 29, Wrestlemania XXIX, WWE