The Aftermath – WrestleMania 27

WrestleMania 27 has come and gone and there are mixed emotions. There was a good and bad things about the show, but because of all the hype concerning the show, I think most of us were a bit let down when it was all said and done. Big D is back to give us his thoughts, and since he has many, we’ll let him hit clean up.

Here’s what we thought of the WrestleMania 27:

Thumbs In The Middle
Best Match: HHH vs. The Undertaker
Worst Match: John Cena vs. The Miz

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with GG about how Wrestlemania 25 was the only time I was ever disappointed with a Wrestlemania. Sure there have been worse cards in the past (much worse in fact), but this was a show which could have been great, but WWE blew it. I now view 27 in much the same light.

They got the match ordering spectacularly wrong again. Winning The Royal Rumble now earns you the prestigious honour of being beaten and humiliated in the opener. Months of building Del Rio as the next big star went out the window. And why? To protect Edge who isn’t even over in the first place. Their use of time was appalling. My God, they wasted a lot of time on this show. Eleven months of the year they cope just fine with three hours on PPV. You give them an extra hour and suddenly there’s no time for anything. How does that even happen? Danielson’s match was cut entirely. Two others only went a matter of seconds. Why would you even bother having the eight man tag if it’s only going to last a minute? It served no purpose other than burying The Corre. On the other hand, Lawler/Cole got way too much time. The beating Cole got really didn’t live up to the build, and reversing the decision just furthered soured me on the match.

The Rock’s involvement throughout the night was worse than useless. If you are considering arguing this point, JUST STOP. You are wrong. People give Cena flak for being cheesy. Rock’s stuff in the last couple of weeks (and particularly on this show) was nothing short of embarrassing. His opening speech was excruciating, the backstage vignettes, worthless.

It wasn’t all bad though. Cody vs. Rey had its moments, and Orton/Punk was actually a really good old school wrestling match. But when the pressure was on it was the two old men who stood up and were counted. HHH and Undertaker gave us one of the all time great Mania matches. For my money, this was HHH’s best ever performance. Whether it topped either of Taker’s matches with Shawn is really irrelevant at this point. It saved the show from being a total disaster.

I thought beforehand that Cena and Miz would be fine closing out the PPV. Boy, was I wrong. It fell flat, the booking was horrendous, and it just wasn’t any good anyway. To have this match finish the biggest show of the year can only be considered a colossal disappointment. Other than the Taker/HHH classic, this is not a show I ever want to relive.

Thumbs In The Middle
Best Match: HHH vs. The Undertaker
Worst Match: Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler

Very mixed emotions about this show. A couple of key matches were disappointing, but ultimately the thing which hurt it the most was the horrific layout and presentation of the show. From the outset there was an overriding feel of “anti-wrestling” hanging over the show, only washed away by the Undertaker/HHH masterpiece which I’ll get to in a minute. The layout was horrible, the time usage was the worst ever and the majority of the non-wrestling segments fell completely flat. Perhaps most significantly for me, the man who the show was built around – The Rock – was not used well, and amazingly at times was more a negative than a positive.

I compared (Taker/HHH) to someone today as being akin to Foley/Taker Hell In The Cell. It wasn’t a back and forth wrestling match filled with action. It was a dramatic spectacle built around some big moments carried by the world class facial expressions, little mannerisms and storytelling ability of both these guys. They weren’t capable of moving at a fast pace like they did ten years ago, so instead they put their bodies on the line in the form of big bumps, and my hats off to them for that. A great match.

Lawler vs. Cole (was the worst) because it should have been so much better. It went on way too long. Jerry should have kicked his ass from start to finish for about 4 minutes total, piledrove him, and left him dead in the middle of the ring while Steve poured beer on him and stunned Swagger.

Thumbs Up (barely)
Best Match: HHH vs. The Undertaker
Worst Match: Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler

It’s rare that you see a show where four matches are all above three stars, which one match that’s at least four and a quarter stars, and to feel a bit disappointed. But that was the story of this show. Everything just seemed off. They cut out a possible good match, led off with a title match that could’ve been fantastic if given more time, and featured one of the more disappointing main events in WrestleMania history. Thankfully, the show was saved by a great Triple H vs. Undertaker match. HHH finally had his WrestleMania moment. There are few matches he’s been in that topped this one. Since the show was designed to showcase The Rock, you have to feel a bit disappointed because he wasn’t on the show much at all, and when he was, it was kind of underwhelming. Overall, this was probably the worst WrestleMania in recent memory.

Big D
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Match: HHH vs. The Undertaker
Worst Match: 8-man tag

Wrestlemania XXVII was everything that I loved and hated about the business of pro wrestling, that I’ve been watching now for 21 years. That’s almost 90% of my life. Overall, the first half of the show was the most wretched and vile thing ever. They opened the show with the World Heavyweight Championship and despite what anybody who claims to know anything about this business will tell you – that does nothing but absolutely bury that belt six feet under. Part of me feels that the only reason they did it was because they were in Atlanta, with its ties to the Big Gold Belt, and decided to bury it in Atlanta ten years after the demise of the final remnant just to prove they’re dominant. Because yeah, despite owning the business, we still have to hold grudges from decades past. Oh by the way, the show ACTUALLY opened with a completely worthless 20 minute promo from the Rock that bumped the US title match off the show and accomplished nothing.

When Alberto Del Rio, a guy who every single person whom I spoken to, felt not only had a future, but perhaps the brightest of all the new talent, including Sheamus, Swagger, Barrett, AND MIZ, lost to Edge clean, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I honestly can’t remember a single time in my life that I was THIS pissed off at pro wrestling – EVER. I was so unbelievably unnerved, insulted, and pissed, that I nearly walked out on Wrestlemania and have witnesses to prove it. I was THIS CLOSE to not only walking out on Wrestlemania, but all of WWE. Seriously. With Danielson getting bumped, the World Title curtain jerking, and Del Rio NOT winning, I felt like I got nailed with a three-hit Manny Pacquiao-esque combo to the balls. Then they followed it up with some of the most atrocious vignettes ever, featuring people like Snoop Dogg and Pee Wee, again, who were popular before most of their audience was born.

If Wrestlemania is going to be a nostalgia show every year, I would understand (even though its stupid), but am I the only one who thinks Mania should be, what it has been in the past, a launchpad for the next thing, the peak of the year in storylines, the biggest matches, with a LITTLE bit of nostalgia sprinkled in, but not enough to where the past overtakes the stars of the present and future. Save that shit for the fucking Hall of Fame.

Ironically enough, the show took place IN Atlanta, 10 years after the death of WCW and WWE did just about everything they could to be just like them, and no, not good things. A 20 minute promo that could’ve been 10? Check. Burying young guys? Check. Everybody up and comer got buried except Cody Rhodes. Making titles meaningless? Check. Relying on the past? Check. All they needed was Russo, KISS, Master P, and David Arquette, and we would’ve had a true WCW tribute show. The last thing that I despised this much was Dr. Heiny, six years ago.

The show was rapidly becoming the worst Wrestlemania of all time in my eyes, but upon second viewing, I DID catch some things in the first half that I really enjoyed, such as Cody vs. Rey and Punk vs. Orton, two matches who I didn’t give enough credit to upon first viewing because the steam that came out of my ears was covering my eyes. Cole vs. Lawler came on and I was excited at first, then thoroughly disappointed by the end. Cole getting offense is retardation. Lawler losing: retardation. And of course, the only young up and comer involved in this angle, Jack Swagger, who a year ago was about to win the World Title, gets embarrassed by Stone Cold. Normally a Stunner doesn’t bother me because its a fun moment, but if the rest of the show didn’t involve making the young guys look like shit, it would’ve been different.

Triple H vs. Undertaker saved pro wrestling for me. I said countless times on numerous podcasts and columns and to many people that if Triple H won this match and took the streak, WWE would permanently lose me as a customer other than Wrestlemania once a year. Del Rio’s loss angered me to the brink of explosion, and this match brought me back, not only because Hunter LOST, but because he tapped out in the middle of the ring, after having one of the most physical and emotionally exhausting matches of his career. Technically, the match can’t top the last two HBK/Taker matches at Mania, but as far as emotion goes, this was right up there and worth the entire price of admission. The match showed what real pro wrestling is: a story, with the right pacing, facials, and manneurisms. Plus they damn near killed each other. My only issue is, again, couldn’t Hunter put over a young guy like this?

Snooki is the most athletic fat girl in the history of the business (with the exception of possibly Bull Nakano).

Cena vs. The Miz mirrored Jericho/HHH from 2002 and Orton/HHH from 2009 as the underwhelming, somewhat boring (even though I liked the first of the two) Wrestlemania closing show match, with fans being dead tired from the earlier show and not caring. The pre-match Miz video package to Nas “Hate Me Now” was so universally amazing that I think it’s turning him babyface. You could see the guy was emotional coming out, and while the guy has been a poorly booked champion for the most part, the fact that he went into Mania facing the company’s current top guy as a heel champion and RETAINED in the LAST MATCH then got a vignette with Stone Cold the next day is definitely a dream come true. The match was somewhat lackluster and felt rushed. Rock coming out and costing Cena was a great moment for anybody over the age of 12 (and under the age of 40), but burying the Miz at the end was not necessary. The show, in 2011, ended with a movie star former wrestler with his hand raised after laying out everybody else. It really didn’t bother me because chances are he will be looking at the lights at the end of next year’s show, but it sure did capped off the theme of the evening: old guys matter, young guys don’t, we’re stupid and shitty bookers.

Regardless, the show is worth watching thanks to Taker/HHH, Cody/Rey, Punk/Orton, and yes, even Edge/Del Rio, despite the ending, was a very fun match in-ring. Jim Ross was back and this was a plus, and the production was stellar as usual.

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  1. you watching this james kirkland fight hope he wins 8)

  2. K.O by Japan Upset I love it!!!! 8)

  3. Not watching the boxing because I don’t want to pay for it. Ha!

  4. It’s free then

    so much for Kirkland Vs Cotto no need thank you very much.

  5. Thanks man. I don’t like pirating the shows. I’m keeping up with it on Twitter.

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