WWE CHAMPIONSHIP THE MIZ (C) DEFEATED JOHN CENA
I really liked Miz’s hype video before the match. It was his path to the WWE title mixed with other great moments by former WWE champions. Cena’s entrance was way over the top. It involved a choir and a voice over by DMX (I think). Need I say more? This was a tale of two matches. The first match ended in a count-out with Miz retaining the title. It was a short match and JR and King kept putting over how Cena just didn’t look right.
Rock comes out and restarts the match. This time he makes it a no DQ match and overrules the Raw GM and his/her e-mail. Rock ends up hitting the Rock Bottom on Cena right after the match restarts and Miz gets the victory. It all happened so quickly that it didn't set in. Rock then hits Miz with the People’s Elbow and ends the show with his hand raised.
It was a messy execution and overbooked. It would have made a lot more sense to just have Rocky costs Cena match when the referee wasn’t looking or during the many times the referee was unconscious. No need to have the count-out and the restarting of the match. I felt like I didn’t even have a main event match.
NO HOLDS BARRED: THE UNDERTAKER DEFEATED TRIPLE H
Easily the best match of the night. I feel it was on par, maybe even a smidge better than Taker-Shawn Michaels from last year. Taker wins fair and square, but HHH dominated most of the match. These two men fought outside for most of the match as each man put the other through a table. Triple H even tackled Taker through the “Cole Mine.” Undertaker did “Air Deadman” over the top rope and once again almost killed himself by landing on his neck. It wasn’t a blatant miss as it was against HBK. Taker did make contact with Triple H but it still looked as if Taker landed hard on his neck. I think it might be time to put that move on the shelf. Each man mounted serious offense with their signature moves. Triple H connected on a Tombstone and even pinned Taker by putting his hands on the chest. Taker kicked out and this is when the match reached its crescendo. Triple H screamed at Taker to “stay down” and “just die.” Very much like Taker telling HBK last year to “stay down.”
The purpose of Triple H yelling those remarks at Triple H was to make fans flashback to last year. It was Taker who had the upper hand when he was yelling those remarks at HBK before he finished him off and retired Michaels. The WWE wanted to put fans back in that moment and make us feel as if the streak was ending. HBK lost like this and now Taker is going to taste the same defeat. But that wasn’t the case as Taker locked in Hells Gate and got Triple H to eventually tap out. The ending wasn’t very dramatic. I would have liked to see a pin, but Triple H had the sledge hammer in his hand when Taker locked in the move. The WWE was trying to build up the drama that Triple H was going to get out of the move by smashing the hammer in his face. He eventually dropped the hammer and tapped out.
Triple H walked out of the ring fine. It was Taker who needed medical attention to get back to the locker room. The WWE really drove home the point that Triple H took Taker to his limit, even more so than HBK.
RANDY ORTON DEFEATED CM PUNK
CM Punk dominated the majority of the match by working on Orton’s injured leg. The ending of the match was a little over booked for my taste. Orton went to hit the RKO, but Punk got out of it. Lawler and Cole put over the fact that Punk had Orton well scouted. That worked out fine. But instead of Punk attacking Orton again, he goes up to the top rope. That’s when Orton hits a huge RKO for the win. The move was nicely executed, but the way we got there was dumb.
WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP: EDGE (C) DEFEATED ALBERTO DEL RIO
Edge retained his title over Alberto Del Rio, the Royal Rumble winner. This match opened the show and it was a nice way to kick things off. The match was above average and had a lot of fast movement and was the second best match of the night. I’m glad the WWE didn’t go the obvious way and have Christian turn on Edge. I think this feud lasts a little longer on Smackdown. After the match, Christian and Edge destroyed Del Rio’s Rolls Royce with a crowbar.
MICHAEL COLE DEFEATED JERRY LAWLER (SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE: STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN
Jim Ross and Booker T came down to join Josh Matthews at the announcers table. Ross would call the rest of Wrestlemania which was a nice treat having him back. Stone Cold Steve Austin made his entrance on his RV. The match started out pretty good with King and Cole fighting in the “Cole Mine.” It ended up going way too long with Cole getting in way more offense than he should’ve. The crowd started to turn on this match until Lawler finally got his momentum back and pinned Cole. Austin stunned Swagger and Booker T in the process. Booker tried to join the post-match beer bash, but Austin wasn’t having it. The Raw GM reversed the call and disqualified Lawler for whatever reason. Matthews, who read the e-mail, was stunned by Austin for being the bearer of bad news. Why does Austin always get picked as the referee for bad matches? Remember Wrestlemania 20 when we saw the awful Brock Lesnar-Goldberg match. Yea, Austin was the referee for that match as well.
JOHN MORRISON, SNOOKI, TRISH STRATUS DEFEATED DOLPH ZIGGLER AND LAYCOOL
This match ended up going on second to last. It was the right move because the crowd needed to settle down following the Undertaker-Triple H match. This match was everything the Jerry Lawler-Michael Cole match should have been: It was quick and fun. Snooki got the win as she pinned Michelle McCool. In the shocking department: Snooki did a cartwheel, into a back flip and ended it with an elbow on McCool. It got a good pop from the crowd. I remember Chyna using this very same move back during her run in the WWE.
CODY RHODES DEFEATED REY MYSTERIO
Rey was dressed as Captain American while Rhodes had a mask on his face following the 619 Rey gave him on Smackdown. The mask was very Undertaker-like when he broke his orbital bone in the early 1990s. The match was slow and had very few quick spots. I had high hopes for this match. But Rey is just not the same performer he used to be and Rhodes is not at that stage of his career where he can carry a big-time match. They tried to tell a good story in the ring as Rhodes removed Rey’s knee brace that injured his face. It was not working for me because the pacing of the match was so off.
BIG SHOW, SANTINO MARELLA, VLADIMIR KOZLOV DEFEATED THE CORRE
It was a quick match when the Big Show hit Health Slater with a violent right hand. This thrown together group of Big Show, Kane, Santino and Kozlov have no long-term future together. So why take the win away from The Corre who has a ton of young guys who could be the future of the WWE and Smackdown? No idea. A weird booking idea.
U.S. TITLE MATCH SHEAMUS (C) VS. DANIEL BRYAN
This match tuned into a non-title Battle Royal between multiple stars. Here’s the best part: It never even air on the pay per view. It was a dark match before Wrestlemania even went live. The former WWE champion and current U.S. champion, Sheamus, didn’t even win the match. The Great Khali won. I didn’t see the match, but there are many Daniel Bryan marks who are upset he did not get his big Wrestlemania moment.
OVERALL: This Wrestlemania had more talking than any other ‘Mania I have ever seen. The show began with The Rock cutting a promo in the ring and we saw plenty of him in backstage skits. The best skit being he and Austin meeting face-to-face and shaking hands. Taker-HHH had the best match of the night and that makes three straight years that The Undertaker had the best match. All the talking, backstage segments and videos never gave the show a chance to ge into a rhythm. I give the show a 6.5/10.