Authors note: This was orginally published under a different blog title on April 4, 2011. The only edits made are to remove defunct website links from former endeavours. These old blogs will be rerun as part of a Throwback Thursday to unify all my work in one place. I hope you enjoy these. This is an early Cheap Seat Booking. Please note that this is a review of Wrestlemania XXVII and pretty much the exact opposite of my intention for the CSB column.
Great sweet Jesus on toast it has been a while since I have done this. This little project has gotten dusty and now that I am sufficiently perturbed about something and in need of a rant I have blown it off (lol giggidy) and returned. To add more context to what I am about to write; Finally Mattitude HAS COME BACK…to the internet.
What has prompted this surge of outrage? Where has this muse come from? Why now? The answer is of course Wrestlemania.
You see the WWE in there infinite wisdom (careful lifting that lots of sarcasm on it) added the customary extra hour to the largest show in the industry and one of the highest attended athletic events in the world (71,000+ this year) creating a 4 hour extravaganza…with only EIGHT matches. Really? Come the fuck on.
The extravaganza this year and it has been getting steadily worse since about 2005, was that the show was dominated by the production truck. Video package after video package and ridiculously short matches. The amount of talent left off the show was astounding, not to mention how badly butchered short matches were. Frankly I feel ripped of and can categorize this Wrestlemania as, in my opinion, the 2nd worst ever. For the record THE worst was Wrestlemania 2 and this year has indeed slide the abortion that was Wrestlemania 11 up a slot on my list to merely 3rd worst of all time, way to reset the bar WWE.
Let me run this down for you and get it all out of my system.
Rock opens: TOO LONG and frankly it got very lame as he tried to get teh crowd in to it. He did seem to need to take some time to compose himself and absorb being back in front of a massive crowd.
Alberto Del Rio vs Edge (World Title match): The fact that this match was on first is disrespectful to me. A slap in the face to the title that traces it’s roots back to WCW, NWA and over 100 years of pro-wrestling. I get the need to have a solid opening bout to set the tone for the night and this really did, too bad it was because of a too long entrance segment, under worked match, excessive exit time and disrespectful tone in general towards the fans and aura of the World Championship. I will admit that I am a major proponent of unifying the World and WWE titles again but that rant is for another time. For the Talent involved Edge and Christian were poorly used and Alberto Del Rio never really got a chance to convince the crowds live and at home he belonged in the main event tier. The only real surprise was that Christian DID NOT turn on Edge at any point.
Rey Mysterio vs Cody Rhodes: The evolution of Cody Rhodes is coming along nicely and I am enjoying watching his character develop these days. The match itself was solid but barely over a standard Smackdown bout. The biggest surprise there was what Super hero Rey was coming out as this year. FYI Captain America inspired costume was well done. This should have been the first match of the night. Rey is a master of opening and closing shows and is wasted mid card. Cody is going to have an interesting year if he keep developing as well as he has in the last 3 months. For the hype this match got it fell way short in time and expectation. This was built for 3 months including having Dusty Rhodes appear to blind side Rey 4 weeks ago.
Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston vs The Corre: 8 men. 4 of them fan favorites in the truest sense not just heel/face wise. 4 of them trying to make their mark in the company and industry. Shortest match of the night. Again this bout was push and molded for 3 months, since Wade Barrett made his Smackdown debut. It was tinkered with and teased longer than any other match, was the last one announced and yet I wish i had a stop watch on it because I am sure the entrances were longer in this case. I am OK with dropping Vladamir Koslov in favor of Kofi since, like Santino, Kofi delivers with what ever he has, this is not to say I am a fan of Kofi though still luke warm on the guy. I am a fan of Santino though, he is the best ‘ha-ha” man in WWE history and I will argue with any one. What ever he is given Santino swings for the fences and more often than not hit a grand slam. However Heath Slatter was the dominant player in the match, the rest of the Corre and Team Show were just there. My most hated spot in all pro-wrestling came so early I was madder than normal. I DESPISE the “everyone hits their big move then the match ends” spot. The Corre should have had a chance to show case themselves more especially considering they have the Tag Team and Intercontinental Champions in the group. Kane was once again relegated to a minor role in Wrestlemania and the WWE as a whole after a long World Title reign this past Summer and Fall. Extremely weak match and a good case for less production.
Randy Orton vs CM Punk: Very well done match. Extremely good psychology and story telling. Orton may well be my favorite active wrestler right now with all due respect to Kurt Angle (I’ll get to TNA another day) CM Punk has yet to win me over with his in ring skills, however his mic work, including his brief commentary run, and match psychology are up there with the best in the business today and of all time. Much like Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. This match could have done with 5 or 10 more minutes but all in all I was satisfied with this one. Much like HBK and Kurt angle these two are consistently able to turn a mid card match into a great one on the big stage.
Micheal Cole vs Jerry Lawler: Waste of time. With brief comedic moments for Austin and Swagger and Lawler using Coles, private announce booth this match wast a time killer. Sheamus and Daniel Brian should be pissed at all involved. Cole had an entrance longer than almost anyone else on the card aside from either Undertaker or Triple H and though he is a great heat magnet and getting the best reaction possible for his role, which I do respect, he shouldn’t be such a focal point over legitimate stars and up and coming athletes. Lawler, whom I am not a fan of in any capacity, did by tenure and popularity earn a chance to wrestle at Wrestlemania, I think it would have been a better idea to have done a story line with one of the better younger workers of work him into a multi-man match of some sort with a long shot win. The talent that was wasted not working or working short matches was deep and abundant and easily able to avoid this cluster fuck of a match. Worse than Lawrence Taylor vs Bam Bam Biggelo, yeah I said it. The post match Austin beer fest was stupid. Why did Booker T get up and go in to spin around and catch a Stunner? Booker would have been better off at ring side with Josh Mathews the rest of the night. They could have even done a brief spot where Booker and Josh did a classy thing and promo’d their way out saying that JR and The King deserved to call the rest of the night rather that waste that time catching Stunners from Austin. This was easily the biggest waste of time of the night. So much room to trim time for better use. Oh before I forget Jack Swagger was the biggest loser here, the former World Champ not only gets NO TV time these last 6 months but he is in a support role for this shitfest. He is a big time talent wasted here.
Undertaker vs Triple H: well the entrances here were bound to be a time eater, but worth it because these two deserve it. The big thing for me was Metallica’s For Whom The Bell Tolls opening for Triple H’s regular Motorhead theme. I honestly was surprised to see the ‘barbarians’ come out not the ‘druids’. Aside from the cheesy barbarian theme being pulled out for this entrance I was stoke to see it and it was much better than the WM22 attempt at it. Love the Johnny Cash theme for Undertaker. The match itself was brutal and barbaric, it was clear from the jump that HBK vs Undertaker from the previous two years was a bench mark and trying to out do those matches was a fools errand. The destruction of Cole’s booth (no I will not call it by it’s tag line) the viscous throw to the barricade by Triple H and the horrific back drop of the announce table and the spine buster through the Spanish announce table were reminiscent of the later days of ECW and Attitude era. Beyond it all was the psychology of Triple H doing anything to end the Streak. I was legitimately sure it was over with the Tombstone to Undertaker from Triple H. The facials and in match verbiage was so well done I was in awe and after 27 years of watching this stuff that is saying a lot. To add to the enjoyment was the ending. Hells Gate was applied for so long and Triple H looked to be escaping with the hammer or raw power several times as to create a disbelief until finally after what seemed like 2 or 3 minutes he tapped out I was sure the match was bound to go for another 10 minutes at least. The post match exit with Triple H being legitimately concerned for Undertakers well fare was very well done and Undertaker being hauled out on the cart added to the clear position of Triple H dominating the Deadman this year and being closer than ever to losing and Wrestlemania. I do have to add that I was concerned after so many harsh spots including what seemed to be a swan dive to the floor that was just short of perfect that Undertaker was indeed in severe trouble after the match. As of this writing I have found no reliable report that Undertaker was anything other than battered and bruised as one would expect and not in any way seriously injured. Which makes the depth of the psychology more profound. Easily match of the night, with all due respect to Orton/Punk.
John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Snooki vs Dolph Ziggler and LayCool: I hate reality TV. Can’t stand the fake reality that is so clearly evident in it and Jersey Shore is the peek of that mountain. To me having this reality TV bimbo and famous for being an idiot ‘star’ on the card is so disrespectful to the rest of the WWE Divas, especially the talented ones, none of which are in this match that had they all walked out en masse I would applaud them. LayCool I dislike, not in a great heel way but in a please go away time to take a leak way. Layla is coming a long fine but McCool is surviving on her husbands good will and influence(that would be The Undertaker). Vikki was oddly quiet and I hate her in a great heel way. It is great seeing Trish back and I will miss her when and if she goes as she is the greatest Diva of all time and a poster child for working to get better as she was hired as eye candy in late 1999 and became the greatest female wrestler in the WWE. She really deserved to be in a better match with better Divas. Here the biggest crime was that Morrison and Ziggler, two of the best talent finds the WWE has made since Brock Lesnar were the eye candy. Their biggest high light was Morrison hitting Starship Pain to the out side on Ziggler, these two should have had a better 1 on 1 match and probably would have stolen show show together that way. Here is the most painful thing I will have to write EVER; Snooki surprised teh hell out of me an really was a high light of the night. I was sure a lame Bronco Buster was coming and NOT a handspring elbow followed by a flip splash for the win, I have to give her credit for that. Much like the 8 man tag this one deserved to have more time and the production truck is to blame there, as are the agents that didn’t fight for it.
The Miz vs John Cena: Waaaaaay to short. The Miz should have been looking to prove he belonged at the top of the food chain there and did try his best for it, looking quite good. Cena made his usual top effort for his skills and even broke out some rare wrestling moves beyond his standard 3 or 4. The count out finish and resulting Rock centered restart was a good idea but they should have let the match go for another 10 – 15 minutes before the predictable Rock Bottom screw job. In the best interest of The Miz that should have happened after the bout and Miz gotten a clean win to surprise us all. Weakest ending to a Wrestlemania ever, hands down.
Side notes; the stage was well done I liked the lay out and sheen to it. The cube-tron over center ring was cool and I hope to see it again. The vignettes backstage dragged on and I had hoped for shorter ones and a Triple H Rock confrontation though Rock/Austin was fun and Mae Young is always willing to give her best effort at her age. The fact that WWE still uses her 3 or 4 times a year is such a respectful gesture towards her, I almost feel bad for using disrespect so often in this post. The lack of use for the talent that just got short changed on time this year is one thing but to think that so much more was wasted sitting back stage twiddling their thumbs is an atrocity. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Daniel Brian, Ted DiBiase, Beth Pheonix, Natalya, Kelly Kelly, David Hart-Smith, Tyson Kid, Chavo Guerrero, Mark Henry, Evan Bourne to name just a few. Finally the Snoop Dogg/Teddy Long Wrestlemania Idol skit was entertaining and having Hornswoggle finally speak was a great moment on the ‘ha-ha’ list at Wrestlemania, too bad he wasn’t better with the rapping, maybe Cena could have coached him.