Wrestlemania 28 Review

Wrestlemania 27 was all about hyping up the next Wrestlemania because The Rock vs. John Cena match was going to come true. After we had to dealt with the awful Wrestlemania last year that turned out to be a commercial for this Wrestlemania! The pressure was on the WWE to deliver something big as this. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen the Rock wrestle since Wrestlemania 20 (if you forget the Cena/Rock tag match in Survivor Series) and the build-up for this match was similar to Hogan vs. Rock in Wrestlemania 18. Old fans and newer fans of the WWE have debated for the longest time to see if Rock was better or Cena or is Cena better than Rock. After so much heated debate, the WWE finally given us a once in a lifetime dream match. Though this card is looked as a one-match-card like many Wrestlemanias before it, this Wrestlemania had plenty of matches in it that was as well as anticipating. For the longest time, the WWE has had poorly booked so many Wrestlemanias since Wrestlemania 23 and the worst of it was Wrestlemania 27. This is the Wrestlemania that needed to properly structure itself into that big show like the best ‘Manias in the past. Thankfully, this card was certainly structured properly and the matches that they’ve delivered were all something to behold and remember.

Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan (c) (with AJ Lee) – World Heavyweight Championship – This match is infamous for being much shorter than expected. Last year’s Wrestlemania match, these two were place in the dark match and finally we have an opportunity to put these two in the Wrestlemania card! We’re talking about the WWE’s most talented individual facing someone like Sheamus. Just like Wrestlemania last year, the World title is our opening show of the card; even diminishing the championship’s credibility. Wrestlemania is a show where stars are established to a mass audience and it was the perfect opportunity to show Daniel Bryan’s talents. But no! Sheamus had to give Bryan the big boot after he kissed AJ Lee and made a pinfall victory. I don’t mind if Sheamus was going to beat Daniel Bryan, but not this way! 18 seconds of a match didn’t break any records (especially for a Wrestlemania) and it pushed Daniel further from stardom. I mean sure, when we first saw the match the whole crowd exploded because they’ve never expected that to happen and I even got the same reaction. But Daniel Bryan didn’t deserve any of this. The only positive that I can give to this disappointing match is that it was Daniel Bryan’s first memorable Wrestlemania moment, and that’s not a good thing. Besides, the following pay-per-view, Extreme Rules, these two actually had a match that SHOULD have been in Wrestlemania! I’m not sure if this was a great way to open the show, but at least the whole audience roared from a big surprised like this one.
Match Score: 2/5

Kane vs. Randy Orton – The funny thing is that fan were chanting for Daniel Bryan “Yes”, in this match because people wanted to see more of that match besides this one. And the especially knew that this match was dull between Kane and Randy. The audience hijacked the match knowing that it was boring, but I think they worked a good enough match at this stage of Kane’s career considering that he has been in a lot of pointless matches since Wrestlemania 23. The finish comes when Randy is ready to hit a move from the top rope, but Kane regains himself and is able to hit the Chokeslam from the top rope. Kane is the victor in this match and rightfully so. I was a little surprised that Kane won this match, but I was even more surprised that Kane got the clean victory. As I’ve said for a while, Kane’s return has been a little underwhelming, so he needed this victory a lot more than Randy. With Kane’s victory, a rematch between these two seems to be the next thing to do. Extreme Rules is next month, so I expect some type of gimmick match when that time comes.
Match Score: 3/5

Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes (c) – Intercontinental Championship – Can you believe that this is the third match and we are only a half hour in the show? Like the Kane/Randy match, Cody and Show make the match work in the best way possible. It’s a little more challenging because of the obvious size difference, but it was fair. With this match, I was mostly searching for something passable, which I did get. The finish comes when Cody hits the Beautiful Disaster, but Show is still standing. Cody is going for a second BD until Show is able to counter with a Spear. Did you see the spear? Show tackled Cody’s crotch. That’s a little close for comfort, don’t you think? Show finally hits the imitation Falcon Punch and we have new IC champion. So, you spear his sack and take his championship too? Show is playing dirty tonight. As I said in the Rundown, I was for Cody dropping the title. As long as Cody was going to move up the corporate ladder, then it made sense to drop the IC title. However, I’m still not too thrilled on Show being IC championship. What can he add to the title at this stage? I hope it’s one of those small championship reigns.
Match Score: 3/5

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres – The only thing that I can say that was a focus on this match was that Eve Torres had a storyline involving a love triangle between John Cena and Zack Ryder. I love that she has gotten the most heat in the entire women’s roster because she cheated on Cena with a man in wheelchair. The fans chanted in this match “Ho-skie” because it was a name Cena called her when he Zack Ryder as a friend. But for the match itself, it was exactly as you expected from the lousy effort that the Women’s Wrestlemania matches go. Is there a single person that works for WWE that thinks that this match was better than doing Beth vs. Natalya in a singles match that would have also got the seven minutes that this match got? It’s not like anybody bought the show because Maria Menounos was wrestling. We also didn’t care about the match in the stadium as evidenced by the random “YES!” chants we did to keep ourselves entertained. So what’s the advantage of having her not only be on the show, but to also beat the Divas Champion? With all of that said, I did like Maria’s Greek ring gear because I’m also Greek. Doesn’t mean I want to see her wrestle ever again. Poor Beth had to walk out to Eve’s music before the match too. This division can be so much more. I wish they’d realize how easily that can be done. Maria pinned Beth with a rollup after about 6 minutes. They built up the finish well and Kelly’s top rope flip splash was very impressive. Otherwise, there wasn’t a lot to get excited about.
Match Score: 1/5

The Undertaker vs. Triple H – Hell in a Cell Match 

One reason why I did not like the HHH-Undertaker match last year was that it was too slow, HHH just wanted to do what Shawn Michaels experienced with Taker in Wrestlemania 25 & 26, and the whole match was to build up for a rematch for this Wrestlemania. Thankfully this rematch is SO much better than the second HHH-Undertaker match (first was in Wrestlemania 17). There hasn’t been a Hell in a Cell match held in Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 15 and this was perfect for an fierce rivalry that went all the way back from Wrestlemania 25 when Shawn Michaels got defeated. Speaking of which, Shawn Michaels came in as the special guest referee to even make the storytelling in this match a lot better because Undertaker retired him from this sport. After watching this match, all I can say is “Wow”. This match really blew my mind. Even before the match started, it blew my mind to see Undertaker takes off his hood to show that he cut his hair incredibly short.

As the Cell descends, you could feel the atmosphere like something epic is going to happen. These two knew exactly what we wanted and delivered the kind of physical brawl that we will remember for the rest of our lives. Almost quarter of the show was dedicated to Taker,  HHH was dominating the match in the early going and constantly you can see Shawn Michaels reacting emotionally because he’s involved making a decision between the man that he respects for beating him in two Wrestlemanias versus his best friend. You can see it constantly where Shawn Michaels had to ask either one of the men wants to give up and each says no. Even he had to try to calm Triple H down from actually killing him. He wanted desperately to end this match sooner before anything worse can happen in this match. And it certainly does. You can already see the nasty marks on Undertaker’s back from all the chairshots he had to endure while Triple H was bleeding like a stuffed pig. And the match gotten so chaotic that it even knocked Shawn Michaels out by Undertaker with the Hell’s Gate. For that moment, you can feel which side is Shawn was picking and after the new referee came in and got knocked out. Shawn Michaels came back up giving Undertaker a Sweat Chin Music and Triple H applied that Pedigree. You can tell that the match went too far for Shawn Michaels, but Undertaker didn’t give up as he rose back from a near fall.

The finale of this match was fantastic where Triple H was about to use the sledgehammer once more but Undertaker stepped on his hand holding the sledgehammer and gave him a Tombstone. That last tombstone made this show a historic night as Shawn raised Undertaker’s hand as the victor. The two have a moment and hug in the ring. Taker finally does his signature victory pose and it seems we are finally done, but HHH is still down in the middle of the ring. Taker and Shawn help HHH to his feet and help him to the back. Before they leave, the three hug each other in the middle of the ring. That’s when JR says it perfectly, “That……is respect”. I gotta admit. A tear came down my eye when I saw this moment. I’m not afraid to admit that and neither should you. This storyline started all the way back in Wrestlemania 25 when Undertaker defeated the man who came closest to ending the streak (and offered the best Wrestlemania match of all time), retiring the same man in Wrestlemania 26, face the man’s best friend wants revenge for retiring his best friend in Wrestlemania 27, to culminate with all three men in the most chaotic match (with the streak still standing) in Wrestlemania 28 with them now letting go of this obsession of ending the streak.

The match was very well done. I almost thought Taker was going to lose there for a moment, but this was the perfect way to give Undertaker his 20th victory at Wrestlemania. Taker, HHH, and Shawn all told a very good story together. The start of the match showed that Taker doesn’t have what it takes to win, but Taker wouldn’t give up. Towards the end of the match, the story changed. It came to the point that nobody can beat Taker at WM, so it seemed that Shawn and HHH accepted their fate. The match felt more like a fight. It was a brutal brawl inside the HIAC structure. This has to be one of the best Hell in a Cell matches I have seen in a long time. The match was billed as the End of an Era. I never made much out of the title, but after watching this match, it really did live up to the title. This match started to make Wrestlemania 28 from a dull show into what WM is all about. The match. The emotion. The feelings. The story. I don’t know what else to add to this. This is the reason why Wrestling to me is so important and why I’m still in part of the WWE product to day!
Match Score: 6/5

Team Johnny (David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, The Miz, and Drew McIntyre) (with John Laurinaitis, Vickie Guerrero, and Brie Bella) vs. Team Teddy (Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder, The Great Khali, and Booker T) (with Theodore Long, Hornswoggle, Eve Torres, Nikki Bella, and Aksana) –
You all should know that I am not a fan of these over-booked, cluttered Wrestlemania matches, but surprisingly enough, this was actually really good! In fact, this over-booked tag match has something that all the other’s don’t have, and that’s just the level of fun! Of course it’s that dumb stipulation of Raw vs. Smackdown but it was to see who was going to be general manager of both shows, John Larenitus or Theodore Long. Ultimately, this was going to be the end of the brand extension idea and make WWE just one single company instead of a divided. So what makes this match so fun exactly? Well how about knowing who each of the wrestlers are, just see them do what they do best in the grandest stage of them all, and have a fun and memorable aftermath. This match is something that I want to see more often because with such a big stipulation and giving each of the mid-carders a chance to breath was the right way to do it! And the finish of this match was priceless where Eve Torres came in to chant with Zack Ryder in the same ring which was a distraction for him to loose this match. Best of all is the aftermath when Eve Torres kicked Zack Ryder in the balls when Team Johnny left only to have her leaving with everyone chanting “Ho-skie! Ho-skie!” I loved it! It was so much fun to see mid-cards doing this to get recognition from this show and it delivered with a lot of intensity building up. This is the best way you can bring heat to a Diva like Eve Torres and it’s a shame to not have her in the roster today
Match Score: 4/5

CM Punk (c) vs. Chris Jericho – WWE Championship – Since Wrestlemania 27, CM Punk became one of, if not, the biggest name in the WWE because of his legendary pipe bomb and defeating John Cena for the WWE Championship clean in Money in the Bank. I really don’t know if you can give CM Punk a better opponent, but Chris Jericho and CM Punk look like a great feud together. I say that because both of them has similar rebellious personalities, wrestling skill & abilities, and are able to cut great promos. If anything, I can say that these two are near equals and I think that it was a good decision to have these two fight in a Wrestlemania. I can easily say that this is the best match of both of their careers. In the early going, Jericho was trying to get Punk to cause a DQ. It eventually geared away from that and it started to act like a wrestling match. Noticed I said wrestling match. Taker and HHH will be the match that will be talked about after tonight, but it felt more like a fight. This feels more like a wrestling match. Then again, Punk and Jericho are different performers compared to Taker and HHH. Like the Taker/HHH match, there was a lot of near falls/close calls between Punk and Jericho and their power and agility were all display perfectly in this match. For a man his age, Chris Jericho was wrestling like he was back in the 90s because not that many wrestlers at that phase could be able to move that quickly and make so many leaps and falls like that! I figured Jericho was due for a win at some point since he didn’t win the Rumble or Elimination Chamber, but I was proved wrong again. Punk slapped on the Anaconda Vice at the 22 minute mark, Jericho did everything to fight it off like he did multiple times before, but Punk was determined and he won the match after Jericho tapped out. This was a very good match. Punk and Jericho didn’t have a lot of screen time for their rivalry (compared to Rock/Cena or Taker/HHH), but I think they set up the story nicely and delivered a good match that does not happen often before the main event starts.
Match Score: 5/5

The Rock vs. John Cena – This is the reason why everyone paid for. Since the Rock left the WWE, Cena took his place as the top babyface of the company just as The Rock became a bigger movie star known worldwide. Because both men grew so much popularity is why people wanted to see The Rock and John Cena. They’ve wasted our precious time with Wrestlemania 27 when it was after all a commercial for this very match. This match needed to pay off. I haven’t had so much anticipation for two competitors since Hogan vs. Rock and certainly, I wanted the Rock to beat Cena. After all of these years of Cena hammered down our throats, The Rock came back to make fun of John Cena and made him look like shit in each episode of RAW before this show. I can really go back to those old episodes of RAW 2012 when the Rock stole each episode because they were that entertaining; from boots to asses, Cena’s kung-pow bitch, Rock singing with his acoustic guitar, and so much more! Because the Rock effortlessly talked smack on John Cena, it made this match more and more hyped. Even through each of the wrestler’s had their own performers giving their own entrances to even further the production and anticipation, all those props did not make this match good. Admittedly, the match wasn’t as great as I anticipated because Cena didn’t give much effort than his same moves of doom, The Rock was losing a lot of stamina, that awful bear hug that took too long to break, and the match went on for over a half an hour. The best thing I can tell you about going back to this match was that the entire stadium was loud during the duration of the match. It was pure magic to see the Rock to finally wrestle a big name opponent since Stone Cold Steve Austin in Wrestlemania 19, and do all of his signature moves that brought our nostalgia-feeling into full gear! This match represented Attitude Era vs. PG Era. There were so many instances where the Rock was going to loose but each time he pops out of the count, it got the crowd roaring with delight. I really thought that John Cena was going to win this match because the WWE wanted to shove John Cena even further down our throats. But after so many Rock Bottoms and two people’s elbows, that final Rock Bottom that gave him that clean three count actually made me jump out of my seat with joy.

That instance where John Cena lost felt like true satisfaction. It was like the WWE are acknowledged that we all hate Cena and after all those years of having him shoved down our throats and putting his face in nearly every aspect of the WWE, it was like the WWE gave us a bone for supporting this company throughout all the dissatisfying times of being a fan. It really was that satisfying to see something as awesome as the CM Punk-Cena match at Money in the Bank and that victory ultimately save this match! That victory for the Rock made the show into one of the all time best Wrestlemanias. It’s something about the Rock’s charisma, character, and talent that John Cena could never capture. Rock had the whole crowd in his hands and he effortlessly made all of us happy. The build-up for this match couldn’t get any bigger and it delivered with a sweat victory that shows why The Rock is an all-time great! The image of Cena sitting down on the concrete floor with the ramp behind him truly represents why Cena can NEVER be an all time great. And this match had to show why you need someone more to take one someone like The Rock. I loved this match for all that it’s worth (despite its flaws) and I haven’t had a reaction like this one since many of the Attitude era matches and the Undertaker-Shawn Michaels match at Wrestlemania 25. That says a lot after all those years of feeling underwhelmed with the product since Wrestlemania 23. If the match isn’t really well worked (especially this one) make sure the finish is a good one. It was more than a great one, it was one of the best finish to a Wrestlemania show ever!
Match Score: 5/5

I could never believe that there would be another Wrestlemania that was a good as Wrestlemania 10, 12, 14, 17, and 19 but this show earned its place to be one of the all time best. Beside the disappointing opening match with Daniel Bryan’s defeat, this show made the right booking decisions and the structure of the card couldn’t be better. We haven’t ad a great Wrestlemania since Wrestlemania 19 and this show delivered all the goods that we’ve been waiting from the WWE from the longest time. The epic finale between HHH-Taker in Hell in a Cell is one of the best in-ring storytelling that the WWE has ever told, the athleticism between CM Punk and Chris Jericho (while could have been better) was impressive, Eve Torres creating so much heat in the Divas division was a hell a lot of fun, and The Rock BEATING John Cena was true fan satisfactory! The WWE did not only gave us a fantastic show, but the company rewarded it’s long time fans with real satisfactory! It’s shows like this is the reason why I’m a huge fan of wrestling in general. I could never imagine anything in life could have been as pleasurable as the good ol’ days, but with effort, timing, and planning there are things that are worth living for! Sure people would just look at this card like a three-match-show. They’re probably right, but if you look back at other Wrestlemanias that are actually one-match-shows, those three matches delivered some of the best things in professional wrestling. It’s wondrous how much of an improvement this Wrestlemania was in comparison to Wrestlemania 27; it’s like night-and-day! Sure the beginning of the show tested our patients, but the second half and especially the finish was non-other than one of the best moments in life! And that’s what really matters!

The Top Lister’s score for Wrestlemania 28


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