WrestleMania 29 Retrospective
The Grand Daddy of Them All?
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) recently put on their trademark show, WrestleMania 29. This event marks the biggest wrestling event of the year. Wrestling fans from around the world traveled to the New York/New Jersey area for the event. The entire weekend was full of events including the popular WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The main attraction of course was WrestleMania 29. This is a event that is globally broadcast and all of the performers bring their A-games. For one night a year, it's cooler to be a wrestling fan than almost anything else. If people watch only one wrestling program all year, often it's WrestleMania. So, did WWE deliver a great product that would hook new viewers, or was it more of the same thing.
The show begin with a pre show that last an hour. This is already a four hour show, so this made it five. The pre-show featured Wade Barrett defending the Intercontinental Championship against The Miz. This shows how far this once prestigious title has fallen. It can't even make the main card. But, the pre-show is better than nothing as the US Title was missing entirely. The Miz won the title is a decent match; however the title was immediately given back to Barrett the next night on RAW, so it's obvious this was done to get the fans a little excited for the opening of the show.
WrestleMania 29 opened with Randy Orton, Sheamus, and the Big Show vs The Shield. The Shield has quickly become the highlight of any WWE program they are on. It was a greta choice for them to open the show to set the tone. It was a very simple match and perhaps the weakest of The Shield's showings. The Big Show flipped back to being a heel by refusing to make the save as Orton was pinned. He left the ring after knocking out both Sheamus and Orton. Good booking to keep The Shield strong, but the story felt rushed by throwing three guys who had nothing else going on together. Two years in a row, Sheamus opened WrestleMania as well.
Next was Ryback vs Mark Henry. Ryback was making his WrestleMania debut and most everyone assumed he'd get a big WrestleMania moment. Shockingly, Mark Henry won the match after a sloppy finish. However, Ryback got his moment by giving Henry Shellshock. It felt weird for the face to attack the heel post-match, but as we saw on RAW, perhaps this was a nice foreshadow of things to come.
The WWE Tag Team Titles were on the line next. Team Hell No, Kane and Daniel Bryan defended against Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston. This was Big E.'s in ring debut and he was serviceable. Kane has been a mainstay in WWE for over a decade. It was great to see him and Bryan retain the titles. Many have thought this team has run its course and would be broken up. Yet week after week they keep winning. It will be interesting to see what the Tag Team Champions do next.
Chris Jericho vs Fandango followed that. This was Fandango's first match ever in the WWE. He has a huge entrance with many dancers. Jericho had his own grand entrance full of firework above the stadium. Fandango picked up a huge victory over a veteran that doesn't need to win anymore to stay relevant and lethal. And if RAW was any indication, Fandango may catch on with fans yet.
The World Heavyweight Championship was to be decided next. Champion Alberto Del Rio defended against Jack Swagger. The match opened with Zeb Colter cutting a venomous promo against everyone imaginable. The match featured nice counters and plenty of submission wrestling. Del Rio came out victorious to keep the crowd happy. Where both men go next is tough to decide. Swagger's character needs a challenger like Del Rio. And with Ziggler cashing in Money in the Bank on RAW, Del Rio could continue to face Swagger for costing him his title.
The Streak. The Undertaker. As long as the Deadman is willing to come back, the Streak will be as big a match as any Title match at WrestleMania. CM Punk was the next on the list of victims for the Undertaker. Punk made it personal by stealing the urn and we saw a brutal side of the Undertaker. The match was great and CM Punk can have a 5-star match with just about anyone. This will stand out as perhaps the match of the night for everyone. The Streak remains at 21-0 and WWE fans already want to know who is next to challenge it.
The grudge match of the night came up next. Triple H vs Brock Lesnar. Now, Brock is an absolute monster of a human being. A no holds barred match isn't one anybody would want to find themselves in with Brock. Triple H is a legend in his own right and these two men delivered a great street fight. WWE icon Shawn Michaels got involved delivery a Sweet Chin Music to Paul Heyman to the delight of the crowd. Finally, Triple H was able to get redemption for his SummerSlam loss and defeat Brock Lesnar.
And then we've come to the end. John Cena vs the WWE Champion, The Rock. The Rock is the Hollywood star returning to defend his title. Cena is the face of the WWE trying to overcome his one major defeat. While the match is far from great, it was what it was. Far too many finishing moves and reversal of finishers. These moves lose their impact when people keep kicking out of them. Cena defeated the Rock and reclaimed the WWE Title. Predictable, absolutely. But what else is WWE going to do? The Rock is leaving to make more movies. Anyone who thought Cena would lose is out of their minds. Let's just all join together and hope we don't see Cena/Rock III at WrestleMania 30. I don't think any wrestling fan actually wants to see this match again.
To wrap it up, WrestleMania was a decent show. The crowd at MetLife stadium wasn't too loud, but that because of the size of it. Being outside, the noise travels up and escapes the stadium. If WWE continues to run stadiums for WrestleMania, hopefully they will be using ones with domes to keep the noise inside.