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Thunder’s Thoughts: WrestleMania 28

It’s now an hour and a half past the end of WrestleMania 28. I’m just going to throw out my thoughts on each match and the overall quality of the show.

Daniel Bryan loses the World Heavyweight Championship to Sheamus in a <30 second squash match. Bryan went to kiss AJ after the bell rang, and he then walked into a brogue kick.

^I said all along that Bryan and Sheamus wouldn’t be given enough time to showcase their talents, and I was more right than I ever would have imagined. The match was designed to hype up the crowd with a quick title change to start the show. I’d be furious if I had been there live. Aside from that, Sheamus is now the World Heavyweight Champion and deservedly so. The streak of the Rumble winner losing at Mania four years in a row has been broken. Bryan had a good run, but I would’ve liked to have seen him carry the gold longer. I’ll state the obvious here and assume that these two will have a rematch at Extreme Rules, with the possible involvement of Christian. To be optimistic, this should bring out an even more angry heel side of Daniel Bryan. Overall, I was disappointed, but we have to move past it and get on with the show.

Kane defeated Randy Orton in a somewhat short match.

^Well, I predicted this one wrong. These two did nothing outside the ring. This confused me when you take into consideration the nature of the brawls that these two have had in their buildup. I’d guess that they wanted to put on a solid in ring match. I wouldn’t call it solid, but it was definitely average. I was surprised that Kane got the win, and now it makes me think they will have a rematch as well at Extreme Rules. These two need something more than a wrestling ring to show of their ability to destroy one another. I guess I wanted more for WrestleMania’s sake, but it worked for the feud given the short amount of time they had.

Cody Rhodes lost his Intercontinental Title to the Big Show in another short match.

^Rhodes and Show are two very different competitors. They did what they could with a short match. It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great. Both guys got to show their stuff rather quickly and Show almost killed Cody on what looked like a messed up takedown/spear in the air. Good for Big Show to get his WrestleMania moment. I don’t see him keeping the title for very long. Cody Rhodes needs to hold one of the world titles before 2012 is over.

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix and Eve.

^This was given a good length of time. I could cry about the length of time of the World Title match here but I won’t. The divas put on a decent show and I really don’t want to bitch about it. Looked like Menounos was in legit pain from her prior injuries, but maybe it was just a lot of selling. Who knows? I’d like to see more Divas matches be treated with that much importance if the quality is up to par.

^These four matches with the National Anthem took up the first hour of the show. They were rushed for a reason. WWE wanted the three “bigger” matches to have plenty of time. Again, this was WWE’s logic. I don’t have the exact same logic, but I guess this was the safe way of doing things for them so they could be guaranteed to fit in all of their “entertainment.”

Undertaker is now 20-0 at WrestleMania after defeating Triple H with Shawn Michaels as the special referee.

^This was not your traditional Hell in a Cell match. This was two legends telling a story. It was epic. Shawn’s involvement was justified for this match. It just worked perfectly. Taker looked like he could move a lot better than he has in the past. Taker and Shawn carrying Hunter out with the three of them embracing at the top of the stage was incredible. Taker’s opponent next year will have to be somebody new, and it will have to be more of a match than a story. Yes, I believe the Undertaker will wrestle another match next year. Will Shawn and Triple H end up in a match next year as rumored? Probably not, but maybe. I don’t want to speculate too much. This match was awesome. I was caught up in it just like WWE wanted us to be. Incredible.

Team Johnny defeated Team Teddy for General Manager control of both shows.

^Twelve guys were denied a true WrestleMania moment. You can expect the Miz to brag now about his success at WrestleMania. It was pretty obvious that Laurinaitis’ team would win this match. It was a spotfest, but it wasn’t terrible. The match itself kept my attention throughout, which makes it good in my book. I don’t see how it could have been much better without making it an elimination match and increasing the length. Laurinaitis being GM of both shows doesn’t appear to change much of anything. We’ll have to wait and see.

CM Punk successfully defended his WWE Championship against Chris Jericho.

^For me, this was the match of the night. It was all about wrestling for these two and they did a fantastic job. They paced the match perfectly. Jericho taunted Punk about his family in the beginning. Laurinaitis changed the rules before the match and declared that Punk would lose the title if he was disqualified. This didn’t change much. Punk made Jericho tap out after an awesome back and forth submission/pin scenario. I loved it. This could have been the main event with how well it delivered on all levels. I’m begging for these two to have a rematch ASAP.

I haven’t talked about the backstage segments. Didn’t feel the need. Brodus Clay danced with a large group of dancers. It did nothing for me.

The Rock defeated John Cena in the main event of the night.

^I’m not mad that I predicted this wrong. WWE’s logic is apparently that Cena will bounce back and defeat the Rock in a best of three series(or so it’s rumored). If that’s the case, then whatever. Cena is there every week. Rock will be gone after Raw tomorrow. It does nothing for John Cena to lose this match. I wanted to see the Miami crowd riot. If it’s a best of three series that Cena will win, then it works for me. I just hope that it’s the direction WWE is going to take. I don’t think Cena will turn heel as people are speculating. The match itself had a lot of rest breaks and some rather slow timing for two of the “all time greats.” You could see the design of the match as it played out and knew where it was headed. As soon as Cena went to do the people’s elbow, you knew the Rock was going to jump up and deliver the Rock Bottom. Rock celebrated in front of the Miami crowd to end the show. I really don’t agree with this. I know who the Rock is and I know what he’s done. I watched his debut match when it happened and every match after that. He went away. He’s only going to wrestle a few times a year. He should not be the centerpiece of the show. As a longtime fan of all types of wrestling and sports entertainment, this just doesn’t work for me. This was better than a good match but not an excellent match for me. The HIAC and WWE Championship match were better.

I’ve never done a show rating on a 1-10 scale before, so this will be the first time I give it a shot:

Average-good midcard matches, a solid Divas match, a World Title SQUASH, and three huge contests. How do you rate that? This show would honestly have gotten an eight-nine on a ten point scale if Bryan and Sheamus had been given a fair length to their match. It really hurt the show for me. I would almost give it a seven, but it seems too low. Call it 7.5/10 and say it’s fair? That’s what I’m going with.

Prediction standings for the 2012 year prior to WrestleMania:
Mike Lightning – 18/30
Joe Thunder – 18/30

Prediction standings AFTER WM 28:
ML – 22/38
JT – 22/38

^Yup, we picked differently several times, and still ended up in a tie. For Mania, it was no different. We both went 4/8. I’ll be back with an abbreviated Raw analysis early on Tuesday. Thanks for reading! – add me

  • Joe Thunder

    The entire IWC is complaining about the Bryan squash. I agree with most everyone. What more is there to say about it? I have to look at the show as a whole and not just one match. WWE screwed up, but it can’t be changed.

  • Graham

    I cant believe your lack of discussion regarding the bryan squash.

    bryan- best in the world no question, looses a squash match at mania in 30 seconds? how is he meant to feel?

    total and utter discrase.

  • Joe Thunder

    I can’t name five WrestleManias that had three matches as big as this one did. I’ve seen Manias have a solid card all the way through, but not more than a few times did we see three big matches like this on a single show.

  • Epic

    7.5/10 to high . This was weak mania for me 5/10 .