Rock v. Cena is SO two days ago.

Hey, Scott,
I’m a long time reader of your work, and, like you, I was thinking John Cena would likely pin the Rock at Wrestlemania, either cleanly or by shenanigans.    And (possibly like you) I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong about that.  But a lot of people posting online seem to think it was absurd for Rock to beat Cena due to the fact that Cena wrestles full-time while Rock is basically a “guest star.”  My take:  Rock is a part-time wrestler, but a full-time entertainer.  From Vince McMahon’s pov, the WWE is not just a wrestling company, but a global entertainment company involved in wrestling, movies, reality shows, etc.  To Vince, that probably makes a guy like The Rock a much more valuable entity than Cena.  Rock is successful both inside and outside of wrestling, while Cena is only really valuable within the wrestling circle.  From that standpoint, I can totally see why putting Rock over Cena makes perfect business sense.  But what do you think?  Should Rock have “passed the torch” to Cena to make him a bigger wrestling star, or does it make better sense to have Rock win and preserve his drawing power as an overall entertainment star?

John Cena has been on the top of the promotion for SEVEN YEARS STRAIGHT.  He doesn’t need to have the torch passed to him.  John Cena has already done everything one human being can possibly do in professional wrestling, and the result of the Rock match did not make him a bigger or lesser star one iota either way.  John Cena was already so far above everyone else on the roster that they had to bring BROCK LESNAR out of his cave in Minnesota in order to give him a challenge.  And another topic relating to this:

The biggest problem about Cena losing to The Rock this time is because- like Hogan/Andre and Rock/Hogan, Cena/Rock isn’t really ABOUT John Cena or The Rock- it’s about “the current era” vs. “the past era.”  During the buildup, the things Rock said about “Cena” himself were noise. The real thing Rock was saying that worked the most was “If you’re a Cena fan, you’re a little kid or a 42-year-old virgin in your mother’s basement.” THIS is where the issue comes in for why Cena should have won- the message is, and always was more than “John Cena hates The Rock, The Rock hates John Cena”- it was “Only losers still watch WWE today. If you were COOL, you’d only watch old tapes from the Attitude Era.”
THIS is the reason Rock/Cena’s result failed- it’s the same thing that made WCW fall apart. The nWo took so much power, and said “WCW sucks, if you watch WCW, you’re lame” for long enough that eventually, the fans caught on and took the message. And now, with Cena losing to Rock, the message becomes “WWE sucks, if you watch us, you’re lame”- only worse because a part-time wrestler is the one saying it, so you can’t even watch Raw or Smackdown to see The Rock do his thing if you believe it. And even if Cena wins a subsequent match at Summerslam or next year at Wrestlemania 29, the damage would still be done- compare it to this year’s Super Bowl. In 2008, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots, and in the process stopped them from having an undefeated record. The same teams played in 2012- but everyone knew, even if the Patriots were to have defeated the Giants- it wouldn’t be anywhere near as important as the year that they had lost.

Yeah, but Rock was part of the show for weeks leading up to Wrestlemania.  Was Vince McMahon stealing valuable spots from people on previous Wrestlemanias just because he only worked one match a year, too?  And the current era sucks, that’s why WWE themselves is constantly doing their navel-gazing fond looks back at the Attitude Era and signing former guys.  Because that was the last generation of stars who knew how to DRAW MONEY.  Maybe if Vince would let anyone else but Cena or Orton actually get over, he’s find someone else to carry that mythical torch.  And WCW did suck, and it was lame.  I don’t see the issue.

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII

The SmarK Rant for WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII Live from Miami, FL Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler Opening match, World title: Daniel Bryan v. Sheamus Well we knew that one of the World titles would be opening the show. Kind of a heel reaction for Sheamus for some reason. And then he hits Bryan with the Brogue Kick and pins him to win the title at 0:15. What the FUCK? The crowd is not terribly pleased about that. I was looking forward to seeing that match. Why even bother having it on the show? Unless they think that this was Bryan’s Honky Tonk Man moment where the heel finally gets his comeuppance, but people LIKE Bryan. Meanwhile, Team Johnny and their dorky t-shirts rally around Johnny Ace, in his Col Robert Parker suit. Kane v. Randy Orton Orton hammers away in the corner, but Kane EMBRACES THE HATE and fires back. Orton stomps him down and tries the draping DDT, but Kane drops him on the top rope and boots him down to take over. Seated dropkick gets two. Chinlock, but Orton slugs out until Kane boots him down for two. Sideslam gets two and Kane goes back to the chinlock. Orton with a neckbreaker for two and the crowd is dead silent. Can’t blame them. Delayed suplex gets two. And it’s ANOTHER chinlock. They couldn’t have made this one the 15 second win by the babyface? Orton flips out of the chinlock and gets the backbreaker, and the powerslam. Draping DDT (which Cole calls a bulldog, faceplant and DDT in succession) sets up the RKO, but Kane counters with a boot for two. Kane to the top, but Orton catches him with a dropkick coming down. Kane dodges the punt and chokeslams him for two. Kane gets upset and pounds away in the corner, but Orton dropkicks the knee and they fight to the top. Kane brings him down with a chokeslam and pins him at 11:00. Seriously? What is the point of Kane going over here? So that we’re gonna have to watch this shitty match AGAIN, but with stipulations? I mean, I’m no Randy Orton booster, but he’s been doing WAY too many jobs. This was slow and plodding and just never got going, and Randy didn’t even get to do the RKO so you KNOW they have to have a million rematches until he does. *1/2 And Kane has been on a rampage of sucky matches since his return. EMBRACE THE CRAP! Meanwhile, Santino and Mick Foley help plug the Deadliest Catch and eat crab. Shouldn’t Santino be getting ready for his match? Intercontinental title: Cody Rhodes v. Big Show Cody runs away to start and tries a dive, but Show catches him and tosses him back in. Show pounds away and gives him a stinkface in the corner, but Cody dropkicks the knee and elbows him down for two. Cody goes to work on the knee, but Show swats him down and makes the comeback. Cody goes up to escape and Show sends him to the floor, but Cody comes back in with the disaster kick. Another one is countered with a badly timed spear, and Show knocks him out and pins him at 5:18 to win the title. Another nothing match. ** Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos v. Beth Phoenix & Eve Kelly gets a rana on Eve for two, but a handspring elbow hits knee. Eve goes up and Kelly brings her down, giving us a double stinkface from the babyfaces. Maria’s makeup actually rubs off on Maria’s white pants, which prompts my wife to exclaim “What the hell is that on her ass?” and thus I have to stop and explain the mechanics of the stinkface to someone who doesn’t watch wrestling. That whole conversation is much more interesting than the match, as Maria plays celebrity-in-peril through a series of bearhugs by the heels, but Maria kicks Eve out of the ring to block the rumpshaking moonsault. Yeah, I can’t believe what I’m forced to type some days either. Kelly gets the hot tag and does her spinning headscissors on Beth, into a somersault senton for two. Huh. Beth comes back with the Glam Slam, but Kelly reverses it into a bulldog. Maria tags in again despite her injuries, and Beth collides with Eve and gets pinned at 6:50. Best match of the show thus far. Not really a compliment to the show, but whatever. **1/4 Hell In A Cell: Undertaker v. HHH Rather subdued entrance for COOHHH tonight, although the cell gets its own entrance music. Seriously. I’m surprised Undertaker’s new Mohawk didn’t get its own entrance, too. By the way, despite the pictures circulating before the show that made it look like a big black cage or something, it’s just the standard mesh cell. JR joins us for commentary, thank god. They throw hands in the corner and head to the floor, and HHH meets the stairs as Michael Cole brings up Jimmy Snuka as the first victim of the streak. Well, since he brought it up, how can I not mention that Snuka has a daughter named Tamina Snuka? They slug it out on the floor as the announcers keep talking about how it’s the END OF AN ERA, an era that we’ll never return to. What are they talking about? Anyway, back in the ring, Taker works the arm and goes old school. Back to the floor, and the stairs get pulled apart, leading to the guillotine on the apron by UT. HHH responds with a DDT and rams Undertaker into the stairs a few times, but can’t get a Pedigree on them, as Taker backdrops him off. HHH comes back with a spinebuster onto the stairs, and THAT had to hurt. He stupidly comes in blind, though, and Taker catches him in the gogoplata again. HHH quickly counters out with a slam for two. And now the chairs get involved, as HHH pummels him with one and runs him into the stairs. HHH lays in another beating with the chair, just destroying the back until even Shawn is offended. The crowd gets pretty uncomfortable as HHH just keeps pounding him with the chair, but of course Undertaker won’t quit. Finally HHH covers and gets two. More from the chair and Undertaker still won’t stay down, so HHH retrieves his trusty sledgehammer while he tells Shawn to stop the match or else. Undertaker won’t quit, so HHH levels him with the hammer for two. He goes to BASH UNDERTAKER’S SKULL IN, but Shawn finally grabs it from Hunter to save. Shawn is once again tempted to ring the bell, but Undertaker grabs him and puts him out with the gogoplata to prevent it. Well that’s one way. HHH breaks it up with the sledgehammer, but Undertaker kicks him in the nuts and locks in the gogoplata. HHH grabs the hammer like last year, but Taker chokes him out completely with Shawn Michaels also out cold. This brings Charles Robinson running out like a madman, because Shawn is ONE OF HIS PEOPLE now, and the chokeslam gets two. It’s ingrained into referees to run down whenever another striped shirt is in jeopardy. Taker takes out his problems on Robinson, chokeslamming him, but Shawn superkicks Undertaker, and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE gets two. THE SECRET PLAN! What an awesome near fall. The crowd agrees and chants about how awesome it is. HHH gets rid of Shawn again, but Undertaker sits up and he’s FUCKING PISSED. He beats the shit out of HHH and hits Snake Eyes and the big boot and legdrop, but the tombstone only gets two. Also an awesome near-fall. Shawn is nearly rocking in the corner like an emotional wreck. You have to love that. They slug it out from the mat and just keep firing away, but HHH gets another Pedigree for two. Undertaker recovers first while HHH crawls for the hammer, but Undertaker gets the chair. And steps on the hammer. Uh oh. HHH gets MAULED by the chair until Shawn finally steps in as the voice of reason, but Undertaker gives HHH one more shot and gets two. Well the chair was broken anyway. HHH gets the hammer again but he’s not really in much condition to use it, and now Undertaker is the one telling him to stay down. HHH takes one last swing, and Undertaker shrugs him off and takes the hammer like it’s a toy. HHH crotch chops him in response, so Undertaker lays him out with the hammer, pulls him up, and the tombstone finishes at 30:45. And there’s your second ***** match for the weekend. Just an amazing performance from both, as they just beat the shit out of each other and let it all hang out. I literally don’t think they could have produced a more perfect match given the guys involved, unless there had been blood or something. Shawn and Undertaker mend their fences afterwards, and everyone goes out together, because they’re real men who settled their differences like men, and now they respect each other again. That is what wrestling is supposed to be. Just fantastic. The Hall of Fame group is introduced, and yeah, Ric Flair is there. Edge with short hair is just wrong. Meanwhile, Heath Slater bugs Flo Rida and gets beat up as a result. Team Johnny (The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, David Otunga) v. Team Teddy (Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Booker T, Santino) As feared, everyone is wearing t-shirts and they don’t even get separate entrances, as each side uses the theme song of the GM. It just makes everyone look like such nerds. Kofi with a crossbody on Dolph for two, and Truth comes in for the double-team for two. Drew is in and he gets dominated by the faces and chopped down by Khali. Booker chops him in the corner and gets a sideslam for two, and he goes after the heels on the apron and gets laid out as a result. Swagger (who has new, non-American themed tights) comes in with a chinlock, and clotheslines Booker for two. Over to Henry, who pounds Booker down as the crowd is DEAD. Miz continues the beating to dead silence and Dolph drops an elbow for two. Miz comes in with his own chinlock as it just gets deader and deader and the crowd is literally silent. Finally Khali comes in with the big chop and they start randomly doing the wacky finisher spots, leading up to the babyfaces doing a triple dive onto the heels. The chicks get into a random catfight and we’ve got Santino and Miz left in the ring. Flying headbutt sets up the Cobra for two. Over to Zack and Dolph takes a crazy bump off a monkey flip. And of course Eve comes in and screws him over, allowing Miz to hit the stroke at 10:44 to give Johnny Ace both shows. Really, eleven minutes for that finish? Ryder’s getting pinned by Miz now, he might as well hang up his tights. And Eve turns on him formally afterwards and kicks him in the junk, as I guess we’re supposed to be shocked that heel Eve would do something bad to Zack. What a boring load of shit this whole thing was. You’d think it would be a bunch of comedy spots or crazy brawling or something, but no, just a super-dull tag match with the heat on Booker the whole time. DUD So yeah, to recap, Zack gets no revenge, gets pinned by Miz to lose the match, and Eve kicks him in the nuts to dump him. Great night for him. Meanwhile, Big Johnny waives the DQ rule in the WWE title match, just to mess with CM Punk. WWE title: CM Punk v. Chris Jericho They’ve certainly got a lot of time to save this show. They take it to the mat to start and Punk hits him with crossfaces and stomps him in the corner. They’re basically wearing matching outfits tonight, which is either a fashion faux pas or Jericho trying to play mindgames. Punk keeps pounding him in the corner and flirting with a DQ, so Jericho eggs him on with a comment about his dad and Punk pounds him with elbows. To the top, but Jericho rolls out to escape, so Punk hits him with a flying clothesline to the floor instead. Jericho: “How’s your SISTER?” So Punk grabs a chair and Jericho flings insults, hoping for the DQ, but Punk just spinkicks him instead, and Jericho regroups with a dropkick to take over. They head to the apron and Jericho clotheslines him back into the ring and then suplexes him to the floor. Now there’s a spot you don’t see often, for good reason. Back in, Jericho gets two. Backbreaker gets two. We hit the chinlock, and another backbreaker gets two. Senton gets two. Punk fights back and goes up, but Jericho yanks him down hard on the back of his head and gets two. Jericho goes to the surfboard and Punk escapes with the mule kick. This thing just isn’t clicking at all and the crowd, as usual tonight, is dead silent. Punk comes back with the leg lariat and neckbreaker for two. Jericho blocks the bulldog and tries the Lionsault, but Punk gets the knees up, so Jericho goes for the Walls, and Punk escapes that. High kick gets two. Punk goes up with the flying elbow, but he takes forever and Jericho gets his knees up and then hits the Codebreaker. Punk flies out of the ring on the sell, but he waits for Jericho to throw him back in and then hits a GTS out of nowhere. That gets two. Punk comes back with a powerslam for two. They trade back elbows and Jericho suplexes Punk onto the top rope and hits the Lionsault for two. “Not often you see someone kick out of the Lionsault” notes Cole. Except for every opponent of Chris Jericho, ever. They head up and Punk tries a rana, but Jericho hangs on and gets the Walls off that. Cool spot there. Punk quickly makes the ropes, and dumps a charging Jericho. This leads to Punk hitting a high knee that rams Jericho’s head into the post, and they head back in…where Punk springboards right into a Codebreaker. That gets two. Jericho stops to talk some trash and Punk tries the GTS, but Jericho elbows out and goes to the top, so Punk brings him down with a GTS…that Jericho counters into the Walls. Or rather, the Liontamer, but Punk fights out and cradles for two. Jericho reverses for two, so Punk turns THAT into the Anaconda Vice. Jericho rolls him over for two, but Punk hangs on until Jericho knees him in the head repeatedly to break. Back to the Walls, but Punk kicks him in the face and hooks the Vice again, moves out of the way of the knees, and Jericho taps at 22:18. Man, they took their sweet time getting into gear, but it ended up a near-classic with crazy drama and submission reversals. Unfortunately that beginning just dragged it down too far to fully recover from. ***1/2 Brodus Clay comes out and calls his mama. This leads to a big group dance number with dancers dressed as Brodus Clay’s mama. And this leads to nothing, as I guess they had too much time to use up and just needed the stupidest fucking thing possible. John Cena v. The Rock And after all those weeks of trying for the 50/50 reaction, John Cena gets booed out of the building. Team Edward and Team Jacob indeed. Although Twilight is so 2 years ago; kids killing each other in dystopian arenas is what all the pre-teens are into these days. Even with MGK doing his pre-entrance musical interlude. My god, who would boo Machine Gun Kelly? No friend of mine, that’s who. The Rock is looking JACKED tonight. Cena wins the epic lockup battle to start, but Rock wins the second try. Rock with the headlock and armdrags, into the majastral cradle for two. No ring rust there. Cena gets his own headlock, but Rock slugs him down and tries the Sharpshooter, so Cena bails. Back in, Cena hits a shoulderblock in the corner and lays Rock out with a clothesline, but it only gets one. Rock slugs away, but Cena dumps him and sends him into the table. Back in, Cena gets two and starts to wrestle quite heelish, stomping the ribs to set up a belly to belly suplex for two. Cena with the bearhug, but Rock slugs out of it and gets the DDT for two. Cena pounds the ribs in the corner, but Rock comes back with a clothesline and spinebuster…but Cena breaks up the People’s Elbow with an STF attempt. Rock escapes, so Cena gets the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM, with a smile on his face during the Five Knuckle Shuffle. FU is escaped and they clothesline each other, but Rock is up first and it’s the slugfest. Rock stops to talk the trash, and Cena hits the FU for two. Rock pops up with Rock Bottom for two. Rock lays the smackdown in the corner, but Cena gets a sideslam for two. He goes up and gets the guillotine for two, as Rock took forever getting into position. Another FU is blocked, and Rock takes him down with the Scorpion King Deathlock, and he still can’t do it properly. Cena makes the ropes regardless, so Rock pulls him back and applies it again, and Cena gets the ropes again and bails to the apron. They brawl on the floor and Cena meets the stairs. Back in, Cena suddenly gets the STF and pulls Rock into the center to thunderous boos. Rock is the most awesome actor in the world because he actually makes it look like the move is painful and causing him to block out. That’s Oscar-caliber right there. And we go OLD SCHOOL, as the ref checks the arm, but Rock is up on the third drop. And he makes the ropes. Cena charges and walks into a samoan drop, and it’s the double KO spot. Rock is up first and slugs away, but Cena fires back into the ribs…and it’s SPINEBUSTER AND PEOPLE’S ELBOW. For two. Cena with a small package for two. The crowd goes crazy with duelling chants and Cena catapults Rock into the corner for two. Cena puts him on the top, but Rock sends him down again and goes AERIAL with the high cross, but Cena rolls through with the FU for two. Cena’s at a loss now and does a People’s Elbow for the hell of it, and ROCK BOTTOM finishes his ass at 30:38. Thank god they changed the finish. ****1/2 Rock was a bit gassed, but he just went 30 minutes after being retired for years, can you blame him? Other than that, tremendously epic stuff that delivered exactly what was promised. The Pulse I’m pretty sure 90% of the people buying this show were doing it for Rock/Cena and HHH/Undertaker, and both matches delivered tremendously, so that’s a thumbs up show from me. I just wish that something else had turned into a show-stealing classic to really elevate this thing to the upper tier of Wrestlemanias, but sadly nothing did and in fact a couple were really horrible from a quality and booking standpoint. Still, HHH v. Undertaker is well worth your $65 and I left happy that I bought the show.

Wrestlemania XXVIII

Wrestlemania XXVIII
Date: April 1, 2012
Location: Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 78,363
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
America the Beautiful: Lillian Garcia

As I wrote out that title, I almost started shaking. Today is Wrestlemania Sunday. In less than two and a half hours, the show is going to begin. This is the day that we as fans wait for all year long. Everything ends tonight and at the same time, everything begins. You all know the card by now, but for those who might forget, the main event is John Cena vs. The Rock, Once In A Lifetime (until ratings go down and we need a rematch). Let’s get to it.

First up we’ve got a pre-show match as a bonus.

Tag Titles: Justin Gabriel/Tyson Kidd vs. Primo/Epico vs. Usos

Primo/Epico have the titles and have beaten the Usos about five times already. Kidd and Gabriel are teaming for the first time after Kidd asked Gabriel if he wanted to be a team. Gabriel said yes, and apparently that qualifies you as deserving a title match. New tights for the Usos here. Josh and Striker are doing commentary for this match. This is under WCW rules as in three in the ring at once, but in a twist you can only tag your own partner.

Jey, Tyson and Primo start things off. Primo is sent to the floor and Tyson gets two off a sunset flip. Primo comes back in with a missile dropkick as Jey gets beaten down. Kidd makes the save but gets DDTed for two. Primo loads up a superplex on Jey but Tyson springboards up to make it a Tower of Doom in a cool twist on the traditional spot there. Tags bring in Epico and Jimmy but I think Kidd is still legal for his team.

Jimmy comes out of the corner with a spinning cross body and a Bubba Bomb for two. Tag to Gabriel who jumps over Jimmy but walks into a Samoan attack. Back to Jey who hits an assisted Samoan Drop. Jimmy tags in quickly for a double Rikishi attack to Epico and Gabriel. Epico gets dropped onto Primo so Jey can hit a HUGE dive onto both of them.

Kidd pops up on the apron but Jimmy launches him to Jey for a Samoan Drop. Gabriel sets for a top rope Asai Moonsault and hits it on his second attempt. Better safe than sorry on that spot. He tries the springboard 450 but (mostly) hits knees. Backstabber by Epico pins Jey at 5:05.

Rating: B-. Really fun opener here with the six smaller guys being thrown out there to fire up the crowd. That’s what cruiserweights and hot Latin women that can shake their hips were made for so you can’t ask for much more than that. I’m a big Uso fan so seeing them on Wrestlemania was a cool thing to see. Very good start to the night.

Lillian opens us with America the Beautiful. She even sings the second verse.

The opening video is about how this is the beginning, which includes a set of clips of the beginning of a lot of guys’ careers, including some shots of Cena in OVW. We also get some shots of the main guys’ careers. It’s the four in the main events only, which makes sense.

Smackdown World Title: Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan

Makes sense. Might as well make this the most worthless world title match in company history given the build for it so far. Cole and Lawler are calling this alone. Bryan has his robe here and AJ is looking GREAT. We get the kiss to start and Brogue Kick and it’s over in 8 seconds. I kid you not it was that fast.

We have 7 matches left and almost four hours to go. Each match could conceivably get 20 minutes each.

Miz fires up Team Johnny in the back. They don’t seem to care until Otunga comes in to introduce Johnny in a white suit. He says this is going to be a night in the ranks of Hogan slamming Andre and Austin refusing to submit to Bret.

Win a trip to Wrestlemania 29.

Kane vs. Randy Orton

This is over Kane shaking Randy’s hand last year and hating himself for it. I can’t imagine this feud isn’t going to continue after this. Seeing Kane in daylight in the welder’s mask makes him look pretty ridiculous. Kane takes him into the corner to start as I think the fans are chanting for Orton. Well it’s longer than the previous match at least. Orton escapes a chokeslam and stomps on the foot/ankle.

Elevated DDT (called a bulldog by that idiot Cole) is countered and Kane drapes him over the top rope for a big boot. This is Kane’s 14th Mania which has to be up there on the all time list. Kane takes him down and it’s off to a chinlock. Orton fights up with punches but runs into the uppercut for two. Side slam gets two. Kane again stops Orton’s comeback and hits a vertical suplex for two.

A headbutt slows Kane down and Orton spins out of another side slam via a backflip. Orton’s backbreaker puts Kane down but his clotheslines don’t do much. There’s the powerslam and Kane’s shoulder goes into the post. Kane comes back and goes up but his clothesline is countered by a dropkick in a cool spot. Orton loads up the Punt but runs into the chokeslam for two. Kane is frustrated so he does an Undertaker situp.

He pounds Orton down in the corner but Randy comes back with a right of his own. RKO is countered but Orton kicks the knee out again. Randy charges into an elbow and Kane goes up but there’s Orton again. Orton pounds him down on the ropes and goes up with him. He loads up something but Kane grabs him by the throat and gets the pin with a super chokeslam at 10:55.

Rating: B-. This was my upset pick and I wasn’t disappointed. That ending was pretty cool too as it looked great. Orton usually brings it at Wrestlemania and this was no exception as he got a decent match out of Kane. I’m likely overrating it but this is a match I’ve wanted to see for years.

Santino is with a captain from the show Deadliest Catch. They’re having I think king crabs and Mick Foley is with them. He puts on a yellow hat and talks like a pirate but the captain tells him no one talks like that. There are Socko and The Cobra and they attack the crabs. Ron Simmons comes in and you know the rest.

The National Guard is awesome.

Intercontinental Title: Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes

The idea here is that Big Show can’t win at Wrestlemania and Cody has made fun of him for it. Cody immediately bails to the floor and Show goes after him. Cody has red trunks tonight. He dives onto Show on the floor and is tossed back in via a SCARY show of strength. Show destroys Cody with chops and gives him a Stink Face. Cody goes after the knee to get Big Show down which is smart.

Show is down on the mat now as Cody shouts about how this is his moment. He hooks a standing leg lock and Show is in some trouble. He starts to get up but Cody drapes the arm across the top rope to slow him down. Disaster Kick (I guess it’s no longer Beautiful) staggers Show but a second attempt results in a spear. WMD gives Show the title at 5:23.

Rating: D+. I wasn’t wild on this but it’s a good way to get the title off Rhodes. That being said, I don’t buy the whole “Show gets his moment” deal at all. He was in the main event before, so how exactly is winning the IC Title in about 5 minutes a bigger deal? Doesn’t work for me at all, but this should be enough for Cody to move up the ladder.

Show cries post match and kisses I’m assuming his wife.

Video on what it means to be a Diva. This would be better used with the sound off.

Maria Menounos/Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix/Eve Torres

This is a REALLY risky move as the other four matches are Punk vs. Jericho, the Cell, the main event and the Battle of the GM’s. That’s a stacked final four matches and I’d be worried about them overcrowding the second half of the show. We get the video of the evil ones invading Extra. Maria arguing back at them is still horribly bad. She has a legit case of bad ribs due to Dancing With The Stars, plus stress fractures in her feet.

The sun has gone down now and the stadium looks awesome. Eve and Kelly start things off. Kelly charges into a boot in the corner but the moonsault results in her getting crotched. Here’s Maria and it’s a double Stink Face. Beth kicks her in the bad ribs and Eve goes with a bodyscissors. Maria fires off some decent elbows as the fans chant for her to tap. Beth comes in with a modified bearhug but Maria fights out and tags Kelly.

The annoying screaming blonde does her usual stuff but adds a Molly Go Round for two as Eve saves. Glam Slam is countered into a bulldog and there’s the tag to Maria. She….goes up and this isn’t going to end well. Beth drills her and sets for a gorilla press, but Kelly gets her down and shoves Beth into Eve so Maria can get the rollup pin at 6:54.

Rating: C+. You know, given the amount of injuries to Maria, this was really impressive. That girl legit tries out there every time and you can’t ask for more than anything than that. Decent match and the Kelly flip dive wasn’t bad. When Kelly is the worst worker in a match that involves a celebrity, you know there’s a problem.

Shawn says this match is the end of an era. If HHH loses, it’s the end of the Game. Shawn thinks it’s ironic that he can end an era.

New attendance record: 78,363.

JR is here to call the rest of the show. Is that a beard on him?

The Undertaker vs. HHH

Well this is quite the first hour main event. It’s 8:03 and we’ve got four matches left, which means this and Rock vs. Cena are going to need to be about 35 minutes each. They can do it but that would be a lot. This is billed as The End of an Era, but I don’t know what HHH is exactly putting up. If he loses, it’s the same thing as last year. This is inside Hell in a Cell and Shawn Michaels is guest referee.

No buildup package so I’ll help you out here. Taker beat HHH last year but had to be carried out, so he asked for a rematch. HHH didn’t want to do it so Taker played the “Shawn is better than you” card to get him to say yes. The rest of it was a lot of ego stroking and here we are. HHH’s big entrance this year is him coming out of something that looks like Vader’s old helmet with spikes on it.

Shawn’s shirt isn’t tucked in. It’s Wrestlemania and he’s that sloppy? I think we need a new icon. Taker’s robe looks like it has muscles painted onto it. Or does it look Japanese? These entrances still give me chills, even if he’s bald under there. We get lightning, thunder and smoke as always. His head isn’t completely bald but it’s close enough. It’s almost a mowhawk with hair on the side of it if that makes sense. That look kind of works on him actually.

The Cell is lowered to Memory Remains by Metallica. Slugout to start and JR calls Taker’s punches carcinogenic. HHH comes back so Taker throws him into the corner. The haircut is attributed to HHH not giving him a rematch immediately. Ok then. Out to the floor and Taker goes into the Cell. Now HHH goes into it and is backdropped. This appears to be the taller model with the very little space between the cage and the ring.

Taker pounds on him and chokes on the floor. Shawn tries to break up the choking but Taker knocks him away. Into the cage again as Taker has controlled so far. HHH goes into the steps and we go back inside. The Facebuster is no sold and Taker clotheslines him down. Old School connects and HHH is down. Back to the floor and Taker rams the steps into the Game’s face.

The steps are placed in the ring and Taker this the legdrop (loathsome according to JR) on the apron. Back in HHH grabs a DDT from out of nowhere to put both guys down. HHH rams Taker’s head into the steps three times and tries a Pedigree on the steps which is countered into a backdrop. Taker charges into a spinebuster onto the steps but he manages to grab the Hell’s Gate which won the match last year. In a REALLY impressive counter, HHH picks him up into a powerbomb for two.

We’re ten minutes into this and it feels like we’re only in the beginning. Here are two chairs from HHH and one goes into Taker’s ribs and back. The steps are set up in the corner and Taker gets whipped into them. HHH throws them out of the ring and there’s another chair to the back of Undertaker. The Game goes Stone Cold with the chair and Shawn tries to stop him but can’t.

Shawn finally throws the chair out and HHH says if Shawn wants it to end, then end it. HHH grabs the other chair and shoves Shawn down to beat on Taker some more. That must be about 20 shots with it so far. Taker specifically says not to stop it when Shawn asks. Taker gets up and a shot to the ribs and back puts him right back down, getting two. HHH heads to the floor and there’s the sledgehammer.

HHH says he doesn’t care as he’s basically turning heel mid match. He keeps telling Shawn to end it but Taker keeps saying no when Shawn asks to end it. Sledgehammer to the face gets two. There appears to be some blood over HHH’s eye and oh yes there is. It’s not bad but it’s certainly there. HHH sets for a BIG shot to Taker’s prone head but Shawn stops it and throws the hammer to the floor.

HHH keeps shouting at Shawn to end it because Taker is done. Shawn pulls his finger up to end it but can’t do it. He looks at Taker and thinks about doing it again but still can’t do it. Now he looks at Taker again…and Taker puts Shawn in the Hell’s Gate! HHH hits Taker in the head with the hammer but Shawn is down now. HHH sets for a big hammer shot but Taker kicks him low and puts the Hell’s Gate on again.

There’s no Shawn and HHH drops the hammer. HHH tries the powerbomb counter but can’t do it. He grabs the hammer again but passes out. No wait he’s back up. Taker’s face is a meme in waiting. Shawn is still down and Taker has to let the hold go due to exhaustion. Both guys are out. Here’s Charles Robinson who unlocks the cage to a ton of booing. Chokeslam to HHH gets two. Robinson gets a chokeslam for the count. Eh you knew it was going to be Shawn to count the fall so that’s no shock.

The fans think this is awesome and they would be correct. Shawn kicks Taker into the Pedigree but it gets a VERY close two. I really thought that was it. That didn’t happen at all last year which makes this even better than last year. Shawn is distraught that he almost counted the fall after interfering. HHH has the hammer again and he throws Shawn to the floor. The Game goes after Taker with the hammer but Taker sits up, making HHH fall down in fear.

Here’s the Big Dead Comeback with all of his old favorites. Snake Eyes into the big boot is followed by a legdrop. Tombstone plants HHH but only gets two. Not even a close two either. Shawn looks like he’s about to cry in the corner. They slug it out from their knees to their feet and HHH Pedigrees him out of nowhere for two. It wasn’t a great one so it’s a bit more believable. Taker sits up again and grabs a chair. HHH has the hammer but Taker steps on it. Now HHH takes the beating with the chair and the chair is bent. All of the shots only get two though.

Shawn yells at both of them to let it end already. HHH tries to grab Shawn to pull himself up and gets the hammer. Taker can’t follow up and HHH is in agony. He tries a hammer shot but Taker blocks it due to HHH’s exhaustion. Now Taker has the hammer and HHH shoves him away. There’s a crotch chop so Taker hits him in the face with the hammer. Shawn turns his back on the match and the hammer is thrown to the floor. There go the straps and the throat slit sets up the tombstone for the pin at 30:53.

Rating: A+. I liked this a lot better than last year’s. Of the four matches these three have combined for, I’d put this at second best after HBK vs. Taker I, which is pretty high praise. Great match with some great drama and there were actual moments here where I thought the Streak was over, namely the DX Special finisher. Shawn added something here, but I don’t think it was as epic as they were shooting for. The Cell wasn’t a huge factor but it did add something to it as far as a visual goes. Great match and I loved it.

Shawn pulls Taker to his feet post match. Both of them help HHH to the back in a cool visual.

Hall of Fame video. It’s cool to see Flair up there.

Here are the Hall of Fame inductees. The Fink does the intros which is good. That man belongs at Wrestlemania. Tyson does a crotch chop of course. Edge is on the stage and gets his theme music played. No one says anything but it’s cool to see Flair there. Note that I said there and not in the ring.

Win a trip to Wrestlemania 29!

Josh is about to talk to Flo Rida when Heath freaking Slater says interview him instead. Flo Rida comes out and Slater asks about a duet. That gets a no so Slater wants to be a DJ or backup dancer. Those both get a no. Flo Rida says Slater can hold his mic. Slater gets in his face and Flo Rida shoves him into a wall. Hawkins and Reks come in to laugh at Slater. Ok then.

Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy

Johnny: The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, David Otunga (captain)
Teddy: Kofi Kingston, R-Truth, Booker T, Great Khali, Zack Ryder, Santino Marella (captain)

Otunga has his coffee cup with him too which is awesome. Vickie and Horny are flagbearers. The winning GM controls both shows. Eve is with Ryder. Aksana looks good in the Teddy shirt. Dolph and Kofi start things off and Dolph takes over. Kofi comes back with a top rope cross body for two and here’s Truth. Spinning legdrop gets two but Ziggler dropkicks him down.

Off to Drew who gets caught by the Lie Detector. Khali comes in and chops a bit before Booker gets the tag. Side slam gets two. JR is gone now. Otunga gets in a shot to Booker and Drew’s big boot allows him to tag Swagger. Why is swagger in aquamarine? He’s an ALL AMERICAN AMERICAN. Swagger takes him down and it’s time for Henry. He does absolutely nothing so it’s time for Miz.

Running knee lift gets two and it’s off to a chinlock. Back to Ziggy for a knee drop and then back to Miz. Booker finally gets some breathing room but Henry comes in for the World’s Strongest Slam. Khali chops Henry down and everything breaks down. Kofi/Truth hit double dropkicks to send the heels to the floor. For some reason they throw Horny onto Henry and then along with Ryder hit stereo dives to the floor. Aksana spears Vickie as the match is a mess.

Booker and Miz are down in the ring at the moment but there’s the tag to Santino. Santino does his usual stuff and the saluting headbutt from the top. Cobra is loaded up but he stops to go after Johnny. Cobra to Miz gets two as Dolph makes a VERY close save. Tag to Ryder who monkey flips Dolph and a neckbreaker takes down Miz. He loads up the Rough Ryder but Miz throws him onto Ziggler. He loads up the Broski Boot but Eve comes in for no apparent reason. The distraction lets Miz hit the Finale on Ryder for the pin at 10:42.

Rating: C. Was Otunga ever in the match? This was pretty much exactly what was expected with Eve screwing over the team “by mistake” and Johnny’s team winning. I don’t think anyone ever thought Team Teddy had a chance and even further ends the Brand Split, which is more or less dead already. No issues here for the most part.

Eve kicks Ryder in the balls post match and walks off with her hand on her hip.

Extreme Rules is in four weeks.

Alex Rodriguez and Torrie Wilson are here.

Video on what WWE has done for Miami.

Ace brags to Punk a bit about the win. If Punk gets disqualified, he loses the title. That sounds like the perfect setup for a rematch where Punk can’t get disqualified at Extreme Rules.

Raw World Title: Chris Jericho vs. CM Punk

If Punk, the champion, gets DQ’ed, he loses the title. We get a quick video recapping Punk’s rise up the roster and Jericho saying that Punk has addiction in his blood. They go to the mat quickly and Punk stomps away on him in the corner. Jericho slaps him as he’s trying to get disqualified. Punk stomps to four and then stops each time which is a nice touch. Jericho slaps him two more times and then hides. Punk dropkicks him in the corner and pounds on him to four again.

Jericho shouts about Punk’s father, earning him more elbows to the head. Punk loads up the Macho Elbow but Jericho rolls to the floor. Punk is cool with that and hits a top rope clothesline for two. Jericho asks about Punk’s sister which draws a chair from Punk but he won’t swing. A line about Punk’s sister being a drug addict doesn’t do it so Punk kicks him in the ribs instead. Punk throws the chair away and walks into a bottom rope dropkick (yes a bottom rope dropkick) to take the champion down.

Back elbow puts Punk on the outside. They go to the apron and Punk tries a GTS but the Canadian escapes and clotheslines Punk back in. Jericho suplexes him to the floor and it almost looked like a Jackhammer. Back inside that gets two. Butterfly backbreaker gets the same. Jericho is working on the back to set up the Walls. Off to a chinlock and then a kick to the back. Surfboard submission goes on so Punk jumps up into a dropkick to the gut in a nice counter.

Punk counters the bulldog by sending Jericho into the corner crotch first. CM makes his comeback with kicks and chops, plus a neckbreaker for two. Punk hits the knee in the corner but the bulldog is countered. Lionsault gets knees but Jericho counters into the Walls but that gets countered. Sweet sequence. High kick gets two and Chris is down. The Macho Elbow looks awkward as it looked like it hit but I think Jericho put his knees up, which doesn’t do much good for an elbow. That looked weird.

Codebreaker hits but Punk rolls out. Jericho throws him back in but walks into the GTS. Punk can’t cover immediately though and Jericho gets his foot on the rope. Another high kick misses but a powerslam gets two. We get a series of standing switches resulting in Jericho draping him over the top and hitting the Lionsault for two. Chris goes up and Punk tries a rana, but Jericho counters into the Walls in a sweet counter that I’ve seen him use before. Punk of course gets the rope but getting there was cool.

Jericho charges at him but Punk backdrops him to the floor. Punk is holding his back and Jericho stands in perfect position for the suicide dive from Punk. The fans are a little dead for some reason. I don’t get why as this has been a good match. In a SICK spot, Punk hits the running knee to the head of Jericho while it’s against the post.

Punk tries the springboard clothesline but jumps into the Codebreaker for two. That would have been back to back losses at Mania due to the springboard for Punk. Two GTS’s are countered and Jericho is getting frustrated. He goes up but Punk kicks him in the back. GTS is countered AGAIN, this time into the Liontamer and then the Walls. Punk crawls for the rope but Jericho drags him back into the middle.

The champ crawls through the legs into a small package and they reverse it a few times but Punk counters into the Vice which Jericho counters into a rollup for two but he can’t break the hold. Now Jericho knees him in the back of the head and FINALLY breaks the hold, countering into a Walls attempt. Punk counters THAT into the Vice and this time he leans his head forward so Jericho can’t knee him. Jericho is forced to tap at 22:23.

Rating: A. ANOTHER awesome match here. That finishing sequence was absolutely awesome with some SICK counters. I’m not sure if I’d call it a masterpiece or anything, but these two nailed it and it looked like Punk outsmarted Jericho using psychology he gained throughout the match, which is great stuff. Loved this and it’s another great match on a GREAT show so far.

Mania 29 will be in New Jersey.

FUNKASAURUS!!! AND HE’S TALKING!!! I don’t think most people care about him. He asks people to pull out their phones because they’re going to call their mamas. Brodus calls his mama and says he wishes she was there. His mama is here with the bridge club apparently. She was in the back….and he didn’t know it? She’s a woman with really weird hair and what has to be……oh my goodness the bridge club is all here to dance with her. There must be 20 old women out there dancing. I think I need a minute.

Go see G.I. Joe 2.

Clips of the Once in a Lifetime special to hype up the main event. If you don’t get the story here, go look it up.

Diddy introduces some rapper to sing one of the theme songs. The rapper defines an underdog who apparently is Cena in this. Uh….not quite but ok.

John Cena vs. The Rock

Writing that gave me a chill. Cena is booed but it’s not horrible. We get his traditional shot from the back as he runs to the ring. There’s a new green shirt too. Ok now he’s getting booed. There’s nothing really special to Cena’s entrance this year. Once Cena is in the ring Flo Rida does the other theme song to the show with a full set of backup dancers. Now some chick comes out to sing another song with him. Could the timing on this be worse?

Rock’s entrance really could have done without the dance troupe behind him and it made things look a bit less epic than they were going for. He looked like he was going in for a big fight though and that’s the important thing. We get a shot from above the stadium and it looks AWESOME. We get big match intros. This is really happening. Oh THERE are the boos for Cena. There are some cheers and it’s nowhere near MITB but it’s up there. Big pop for Rock as expected.

The bell rings at 10:24:42 after about a minute of staring. My heart is beating out of my chest as I can’t believe it’s finally here. They lock up and Cena shoves him off. He looks like he lost five pounds of air with the exhale after that. The dueling chants begin and it’s certainly not a one sided crowd. Rock shoves Cena off. That’s so Hogan (in a good way). They lock up again and Rock grabs a headlock.

They fight over a wristlock and Rock does Owen’s counter into a pair of armdrags and La Majistral for two. He did that at Survivor Series and Cena still looks stunned. Cena whips him in and gets perhaps the highest leapfrog I’ve ever seen into a headlock takeover. No one has an advantage of note after about four minutes. Rock lowers his head for Cena to kick him and Rock pops him with a right.

Cena charges and Rock tries a Sharpshooter, but John rolls to the floor. Rock catches Cena coming in but Cena sends him into the corner and hits some shoulders. Clothesline gets one and Rock gets to the rope. You know it occurs to me: Cena has an experience advantage here and a big one at that. He’s been in WWE going on ten years, whereas Rock was around less than seven in total, and that’s stretching A LOT.

Rock fires off some punches but misses a charge to send him to the floor. They’re starting slow but we have almost half an hour for the slow build. Rock gets dropped on the barricade and they go to the floor. Cena drops the ribs into the announce table and sits in the ring. Back in the ring and Cena is in control. Belly to belly gets two as he keeps working on the ribs. Now a bearhug which is a smart move. Cena’s power is often forgotten until the end of the match so this makes sense.

Rock fights out of it with punches and a DDT, but Cena fights back. Now Rock comes back with punches and the jumping clothesline. Spinebuster looks to set up the elbow but Cena picks the leg for an STF attempt. That gets countered so Cena comes back with the shoulders and ProtoBomb. The Shuffle hits but the AA is countered and they clothesline (kind of) each other.

They slug it out and Rock takes over with faster punches. He tries to do You Can’t See Me but Cena grabs the AA for two. NOW this is getting good, almost fifteen minutes into it. That’s not a bad thing mind you as it’s about what happens in every main event match. Cena might have a cut next to his nose but it’s not bad. Cena goes after Rock and gets caught in the Rock Bottom for two. Rock hammers him in the corner but walks into a side slam for two.

Cena goes up and takes forever, but manages to hit the top rope Fameasser for two. Out of nowhere Rock grabs the Sharpshooter and somehow it’s gotten even worse. We’re over twenty minutes into this and Rock is getting frustrated. Sharpshooter goes on again and he’s just pulling on the feet instead of wrapping his arm around them. They go to the floor as we’re over 20 minutes into this.

Cena goes into the steps and Rock is in full control so far. John goes into the steps again but as they come back in he sunset flips Rock (that boy can JUMP) but instead of covering he hooks the STF. The leg is bent in a freaky way. Rock almost gets the rope so Cena lets go and pulls back to the middle of the ring. Rock is starting to fade and he’s not very close to the rope. The referee takes forever to check the arm and it drops once. It drops twice, but on the third try Rock continues to channel Hogan (again awesome) to raise the arm. He FINALLY makes the rope and we’re not done yet.

We’re 24 minutes into this so it’s got to be running short on time. It’s 10:49 now so it can’t break forty minutes. Cena is tired but he walks into a Samoan Drop to put both guys down. They slug it out and both finishers are countered. Spinebuster puts Cena down and there goes the elbow pad. The People’s Elbow hits for two. Cena grabs a small package (easy big fella) for two. John grabs a slingshot to send Rock into the buckle and a rollup gets two.

Cena drives him to the corner and puts Rock up on the second rope. He looks like he’s setting for a superplex but Rock shoves him off. Rock looks very tired and I can’t blame him. It’s his first singles match in about 9 years and he’s going half an hour. Rock goes up top (huh?) and tries a cross body but Cena rolls throug and flips him onto his shoulders for the AA for TWO. I thought that might have been it. It’s 10:54 and they’ve gone thirty minutes now. John looks at his hand, takes off the wristband, and sets for the People’s Elbow but walks into the Rock Bottom for the pin at 30:40. WOW.

Rating: B+. I have no idea what the point of that is, but they did it. The match was never going to be able to live up to the hype and I don’t think it was going to ever be able to do so. I really don’t agree with the ending as there’s no incentive for a rematch now, Cena looks like he can’t beat a guy that’s been retired almost longer than he was active, and it does nothing for the guys sticking around. I don’t get it at all. Good match, close to great, not a masterpiece.

Rock poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: A+. This was an incredible show and one of the best Wrestlemanias I’ve ever seen. I was really worried about the pacing of the show for awhile but they pulled it off really well and it never dragged. There were multiple classics and that’s exactly what Wrestlemania is supposed to be. When the worst match is probably the Divas, that’s definitely a good sign.

As for the main event, it was indeed very good but I didn’t like the ending. Granted that’s two minutes after it so maybe that’ll change. I don’t hate it, but I don’t like it that well at the moment. Still though, it’s a very good match to end an amazing show and we’ll have to see where things go from here. Absolutely worth seeing though.

Sheamus b. Daniel Bryan – Brogue Kick
Kane b. Randy Orton – Middle Rope Chokeslam
Big Show b. Cody Rhodes – WMD
Maria Menounous/Kelly Kelly b. Beth Phoenix/Eve Torres – Rollup to Beth
Undertaker b. HHH – Tombstone
Team Johnny b. Team Teddy – Skull Crushing Finale to Ryder
CM Punk b. Chris Jericho – Anaconda Vice
The Rock b. John Cena – Rock Bottom

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April 1, 2012
Sun Life Stadium – Miami, Florida

–  Your hosts to be named later.  Before the main show, here is the pre-show match for the WWE Tag Team Championships.

–  Your pre-show match hosted by Josh Matthews and Matt Striker.

1.  The Usos vs.  Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd vs.  Primo & Epico (with Rosa Mendes)

–  Jey, Primo, and Kidd begin things in the ring.  Primo dumps himself over the corner to the floor.  Tyson rolls up Jey for 2.  Primo with a springboard dropkick in the ring on Kidd gets 2.  Jey on top, superplex TOWER O’ DOOM on all three men.  HOT TAGS to Jimmy and Epico.  Bubba Bomb on Epico.  Tilt a Whirl Backbreaker on Gabriel.  Blind tag by Jey and SUPER SAMOAN DROP IN MID AIR!  Epico dropped and Primo makes the save on the cover at 2.  Everyone with their Wrestlemania suicide dives to the floor!  Back inside, SUPERFLY SPLASH on Gabriel.  BACKSTABBER ON USO!  Cover gets 3 and Primo and Epico retain the titles @ 5:02.  (Good tag match to get you pumped…I’ll throw it a C+.  Better than 3/4 the shit I see on TNA every week.)
–  Lilian Garcia starts out with “America the Beautiful”.  Sorry Canadian fans, we got nothing for you tonight.  
–  Lots of Flex Kavana and Prototype pics sprinkled throughout the opening video.  Taker and Triple H make the cut too.  Everyone else?  Who cares, right Vince?
–  Your hosts are Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler.
1.  Sheamus vs.  Daniel Bryan (with AJ)
–  DB kisses AJ and BROGUE KICK!  Its over in 18 seconds and we have a new World Champion!  (Are we going for shock value here?  That just devalued the Royal Rumble.)
–  Backstage Team Johnny gets ready and Miz settles them down.  He is ready to win tonight and they ignore him.  David Otunga brings in John Laurinaitis and he is dressed like Brother Love.  He rallies the troops.
2.  Kane vs.  Randy Orton

–  Orton pounds away on Kane to start and stomps him to the apron.  He attempts the Middle Rope DDT and Kane blocks it.  He lays Orton out on the ropes and BOOTS him in the face.  Cover gets 2.  Kane blown up early and chinlocks Orton.  BOO-YAY spot and Kane uppercuts Orton down for 2.  Crowd is dead as Orton escapes a neck vice, yet gets booted back down.  Kane with a nice delayed suplex for 2.  Kane with a chinlock AGAIN and Orton headbutts free.  Orton flips out a sidewalk slam and hits his signature over-the-backbreaker.  Orton shoulder-posts Kane.  Orton grabs Kane through the ropes and snaps the Middle Rope DDT.  RKO blocked and boots Orton in the face for 2.5.  Kane heads up top and Orton dropkicks him in mid air.  Orton goes for a Concussion Kick, countered to a CHOKE SLAM by Kane for 2.8!  Orton ducks a clothesline, blocked RKO, and dropkicks him in the knee.  Kane on the second rope and Orton catches him.  Orton calls a superplex on a camera.  CHOKESLAM FROM THE TOP!  Kane wins it @ 10:56!  (Wow, that was surprising.  Crowd was dead and this thing got better in the closing minutes.  C+.)
–  Backstage, Santino eats crab legs with the guy from Deadliest Catch.  Mick Foley joins in with a bad pirate impression.  Socko and Cobra attack the crab legs which brings Ron Simmons in for the Wrestlemania DAMN Moment.  
–  We pause in the middle of Wrestlemania to mark out to the National Guard.   
3.  Cody Rhodes vs.  Big Show

–  Cody in a new pleather coat.  Yes, I am critiquing wardrobe tonight.  Show still in camouflage dog turds.  Cody dropkicks Show out the ring an dives into a press slam.  Show presses him in the ring.  HUGE hiptoss  and a CHOP to the chest of Cody.  Show presses his ass in the face of Cody in the corner.  Show misses a corner charge.  Cody dropkicks him down.  Spinning toe hold on Show.  Cody continues to kick at Show and gets chopped down.  Show charges and Cody kicks him in the face.  Show grabs Cody off the top and pushes him to the floor.  Cody on the apron…BEAUTIFUL DISASTER.  Cody goes for it gain and SPEARS Cody in the nuts.  Might have torn something there.  Show with a huge right and knocks out Cody.  We have a new Intercontinental Champion @ 5:18.  (Cody danced around Show and Show really looked horrible in the ring.  Really like how Show put down the left strap to punch with the right hand.  C-.)
–  We hype the Divas match…this ought to be Steamboat-Flair all over again.
4.  Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres vs.  Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos
–  What the hell is on Beth’s head?  Maria with a Greek flag top.  Please don’t question my sexuality…just always notice these things.  Eve begins with Kelly as “Hoeski” rings throughout Miami.  Kelly eats an elbow and gets kicked down.  Eve heads up and gets crotched.  Maria comes in and DOUBLE STINKFACE.  Eve has enough and drops Maria as Maria laughs during the match.  Beth tagged in and boots Maria gingerly.  Waist lock on Maria and Eve comes in.  Double row boat on Maria.  Eve shakes her ass and Maria kicks her through the ropes.  HOT TAG to Kelly.  Kelly heads up top and flips in mid air and lands on Beth.  Eve stops the count.  Maria heads up top and Beth presses her.  Kelly pulls her down, throws her into Eve on the apron.  Maria rolls up Beth for the win @ 6:44.  (Fucking embarrassing watching Maria laughing during the rest holds.  And THIS…THIS, got more time than Cody and Big Show.  D-.)
–  Backstage, Matt Striker is standing by with a rosy-cheeked Shawn Michaels.  This match is an end of an era…blah blah blah.  He holds the power in the palm of his hand.
–  A new attendance record in Sun Life Stadium:  78, 363.  Dave Meltzer is already counting seats.
–  Hell yes, we get Jim Ross for this next match and his goatee.  Must be evil JR.  
5.  Triple H vs.  The Undertaker
–  Iron Maiden looking entrance for HHH.  Taker comes out dressed as Super Shredder.  Cool effects with Taker parting the smoke he walks through and lots and lots of pyro.  Taker unveils his ginger, shaved head.  He looks like he should be running the Aryan Nation in a prison yard somewhere.  Metallica hits and the cell lowers.  Shawn decides not to tuck in his shirt for the encounter.  They exchange rights and Taker backs him to the corner.  HHH rolls to the outside and Taker slams his head into the steps.  HHH thrown into the cage and backdropped on the floor.  Taker continues to work the head with hard fists and chokes HHH.  Shawn steps in and Taker shoves him back.  HHH thrown hard into the cell again.  HHH thrown into the ringsteps and tossed back in the ring.  HHH comes back with a botched clothesline and facebuster.  Taker no-sells and uppercuts him down.  Taker works the arm and its time to go OLD SCHOOL!  HHH rolls to the outside and Taker blasts him with the ring steps.  Taker lays out HHH with a legdrop over the apron.  Taker comes back in the ring and HHH boots him and nails a DDT.  Ringsteps in the ring and HHH goes for a Pedigree on it.  Taker backdrops him instead.  Taker hits the ropes and HHH with a SPINEBUSTER ON THE STEPS!  HHH kneels down and HELLS GATE IS LOCKED IN!  HHH lifts him and powerbombs him down for 2.  HHH grabs a chair and brings it down on Taker’s back.  HHH slightly cut over the eye.  HHH wears Taker down with about 8 shots to the back and Shawn can’t event get in the middle of it.  Tack on about 10 more as I typed that.  Taker’s back is bruised and cut up.  Shawn is shoved down and Taker tells him NOT to stop the match.  HHH yells for him to stay down and jabs him in the ribs.  ANOTHER shot over the back and cover gets 2.5.  HHH goes under the ring for the sledgehammer.  Sledgehammer to the face gets 2.8!!!  He goes for a sledgehammer shot over the head and Shawn grabs the hammer away from him.  HHH wants the match stopped and Shawn checks on Taker.  Taker grabs Shawn and clamps on Hells Gate.  HHH with another sledgehammer to the head.  Taker kicks HHH in the balls and Hells Gate again!  HHH has the sledgehammer but drops it.  HHH falls limp and Taker lets go.  Here comes Charles Robinson flailing around as he unlocks the cage.  Taker chokeslams HHH.  Cover gets 2.9!!!!!  CHOKESLAM for Charles Robinson’s troubles!  HHH blocked the Tombstone, SWEET CHIN MUSIC TO TAKER, PEDIGREE!!!!!!!  Cover gets 2.999999999999999999999999999!  Now HHH tosses Shawn to the floor!  Taker sits up and boots HHH to the face!  Running clothesline and Snake Eyes.  Big boot by Taker and then a legdrop!  Take that Hulkster!  Tombstone connects!  HHH kicks out at 2.999999999999!  They battle from their knees and now on their feet.  Tombstone blocked, Pedigree connects!  Cover gets ANOTHER 2.99999999999999!  HHH grabs his sledgehammer again.  Taker grabs a chair and stands on the sledgehammer.  Taker with a solid shot to the back of HHH.  Now Taker wears out HHH with this crumpled chair.  Shawn pleads with Taker as he covers for 2.  HHH gives Taker the sledgehammer and says fuck you with a crotch chop.  Taker BLASTS him in the face.  HHH crawls his way up Taker and into a Tombstone.  Shawn counts the 3 and Taker is 20-0 @ 30:49.  (That was a fucking war!  That was flawless storytelling.  False finishes be damned…the match had everything.  Even a little blood.  A+.  And the hell with whomever says I’m rating it too high.)
–  Post match, Shawn hugs Taker as HHH lies on the mat.  Takers back is bruised to shit!  This man is not human.  Taker “Wrestlemanias” in front of his 20-0 sign on the Titan Tron.  Taker and Shawn help up HHH and he can’t even stand.  
–  Highlights from last night’s Hall of Fame.  Mike Tyson looks like Floyd Mayweather.  Flair tells us “what’s causing all of this”.  We go live to Howard Finkel to bring out the Class of 2012.
–  Heath Slater runs into Flo-Rida backstage.  Flo shoves him down because Heath wants to be in the show.    Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks (remember them) help Slater up.
6.  Team Johnny:  Drew McIntyre/Jack Swagger/Mark Henry/The Miz/Dolph Ziggler/David Otunga (with Vickie Guerrero, Brie Bella, & John Laurinaitis) vs.  Team Teddy:  Kofi Kingston/Santino Marella/The Great Khali/R-Truth/Zack Ryder/Booker T (with Hornswoggle, Nikki Bella, Aksana, & Teddy Long)

–  Kofi and Dolph begin things.  Everyone is in their respective shirts.  Kofi catches Dolph on a charge and boots him down for 2.  In comes Truth for a double hiptoss.  Drew comes in and so does Khali.  He chops him over the head and now on the chest.  Booker comes in and hits a superkick.  Sidewalk slam gets 1.  Otunga runs interference and Booker takes out the side.  Big boot by Drew.  Swagger comes in and kicks Booker down in the corner.  Wristlock grounds Booker.  Booker fights free and Swagger drops him for 2.  Henry comes in and pounds on Booker in the corner.  Miz tagged in and knees Booker with a running kneelift for 2.  Booker blocks a suplex and counters with one of his own.  Dolph tagged in and stomps away at Booker.  Jumping elbow drop by Dolph.  Miz tagged back in.  Miz rus into a jumping sidekick.  Henry runs in with a WSS.  Kahli comes in and clubs him down.  Now its all 12 in the ring.  Ryder tosses Otunga.  Hornswoggle off the topand gets thrown to the floor HARD by Henry.  Aksana SPEARS Vickie on the floor.  Bellas are brawling.  WTF!?  Booker and Miz in the ring.  HOT TAG to Santino.  He wails away on Miz.  Santino heads up top and nails a diving headbutt.  Cobra time.  Johnny on the apron and escapes from the death grip of the Cobra.  Miz eats Cobra and Dolph makes the save.  Ryder in and hits Dolph with the Ruff Ryder.  Eve in the ring and Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Ryder for the win @ 10:35.  (Too much of a clusterfuck in this one.  Miz is now 3-0 at Wrestlemania.  D+.)
–  Post match, Eve with a low blow on Ryder and she walks off.  Team Teddy is stunned.  Really?
–  WWE Extreme Rules in 28 days….yep…28 days.  Torrie Wilson and A-Rod sitting front row.  And the media is going apeshit for Wrestlemania and so did Miami all week.  
–  Backstage, Team Johnny celebrates and Johnny informs Punk that if he gets DQ’d, he loses his title.
7.  Chris Jericho vs.  CM Punk

–  They trade waistlocks and Punk takes down Jericho.  Jericho’s tights read “Best in the World”.  Punk chops Jericho against the ropes.  Punk stomps Jericho down in the corner and allws him to get up.  Jericho slaps Punk to the face several times.  He knees Jericho until a count of 4.  Jericho asks him how his father is and Punk lays in some elbows.  Punk slams Jericho down and heads up top.  Jericho rolls to the outside and Punk clotheslines him from the top on the outside.  Punk has a chair and stops short and Jericho yells things about Punk’s family.  Sidekick from Punk.  Jericho backs up and kicks Punk in the face.  Jericho jumps to the apron and clotheslines Punk back in.  JERICHO SUPLEXES PUNK FROM THE APRON TO THE FLOOR!  Back inside and Jericho clamps on a chinlock.  Punk slaps him and gets free.  Tilt a whirl backbreaker drops Punk for 2.  Botched senton and Jericho gets 2.  They trade shots and Punk hops up top.  Jericho pulls Punk to the mat.  Punk charges the corner and Jericho gets his boot up.  Running faceplant by Jericho and he gets tossed into the corner instead.  Punk with several chops to Jericho and a turning kick to the face.  Punk with the knee to the face in the corner and bulldog is countered by Jericho.  Lionsault attempted, but Punk gets the knees up.  Jericho grabs the Walls of Jericho.  Punk turns him and covers for 2.  Punk slams Jericho and heads up top.  Jericho gets a knee up off the Top Rope Elbow.  Punk rolls to the outside.  He pushes Punk back in and GTS connects for 2 before Jericho gets to the ropes.  Punk with sharp kicks to Jericho’s body.  Standing switch and Punk is dropped.  Lionsault connects for 2.  They battle on the top rope and Punk goes for the top rope huricarana.  Jericho holds on for a WALLS OF JERICHO!  Punk makes the ropes.  Jericho charges and Punk backdrops him to the floor.  Punk dives through the ropes onto Jericho.  Back inside, Punk heads up top and jumps into a CODEBREAKER!  Cover gets 2.5.  They battle out their finishers and Jericho heads to the top rope.  Enziguiri by Punk on Jericho and his lays across the ropes.  Jericho blocks the GTS and WALLS OF JERICHO IS ON!  Punk tries for the ropes and Jericho pulls him back.  Punk rolls it into the ANACONDA VICE!  Couple of near falls and they are back battling for the Walls of Jericho.  Back to the Anaconda Vice.  Jericho taps out @ 22:19.  (Great ending sequence.  Crowd is visibly tired after 3 hours of action and it showed in this match.  Overall, a fantastic encounter…A.)
–  Wrestlemania 29, April 7, 2013.  The main event announced tomorrow.
–  Brodus Clay is out here.  He wants everyone to call their mamas.  He calls his and here comes out a woman with a fat ‘ol ass!  Now a bunch of “mamas” are out shaking their ass.  You know Vince is in the back dancing.  What the fuck is going on here?
–  Let’s plug the Rock’s GI Joe movie.  It’s in his contract, I’m sure.  And then we get ready for the match that is “once in a lifetime”.  
8.  John Cena vs.  The Rock

–  Cena debuting a new Boston Celtics, RAH shirt.  Before Rock comes out, FloRida sings the Wrestlemania song, shirtless.  No worries, this will be edited out the DVD.  Hogan/Rock staredown to begin.  Cena shoves Rock down off the lockup.  Crowd is apeshit.  Headlock by the Rock on Cena, standing switch to a hammerlock.  Rock with a couple of armdrags and cradles Cena for 2.  Rock with a headlock and shoulderblocks Cena down.  Cena hiptosses Rock over and then a headlock takeover.  Rock pops Cena and charges at him.  Rock with a leg takedown and goes for the Sharpshooter and Cena rolls to the outside.  Cena back in and attacks the ribs in the corner.  He clotheslines the Rock down for 1.  Cena lays across on a bearhug on the Rock.  Rock rolls outside and Cena slams his ribs across the table.  Back inside, belly to belly by Cena gets 2.  Cena goes back to the bearhug.  Rock punches out and DDTs Cena.  Cover gets 2.  Rock with a spinebuster and here is comes…wait no the STF…Rock rolled out and Cena starts his Five Moves of Doom.  U CAN’T SEE ME.  Five Knuckle Shuffle! Cena lifts for the AA and Rock wiggles out.  They hit the ropes and double clothesline each other.  BOO-YAY spot, now.  Rock wins and walks into the AA for 2.5!  Cena lifts Rock and ROCK BOTTOM!  Cover gets 2.5.  Rock beats on Cena in the corner and gets bleeped on camera.  Sidewalk slam on Rock by Cena for 2.  Cena heads up top and stands there for a good 15 seconds.  Flying legdrop off the top connects for 2.7!  Cena lifts for the AA and Rock rolls off.  SPEAR by the Rock and Sharpshooter is locked in!  Cena makes the ropes.  Rock locks it in again and Cena makes the ropes again.  Cena is draped under the ropes and Rock comes on the outside with him.  Rock sends Cena to the steel steps.  Cena slingshots over the Rock back in and rolls into the STF!  Cena drags him to the middle and re-applies the STF.  Rock starts to fade out.  Arm drops once…twice..and Rock is up.  Rock slides to make the ropes.  Rock blown up something serious.  Rock stands up and drops Cena on his back.  Rock peppers Cena and Cena fights back.  AA blocked, standing spinebuster by the Rock.  It’s time for the People’s Elbow!  Cover gets 2.5.  Cena rolls him up for 2.  Rock sucking so much wind!  Cena catapults Rock to the turnbuckle and rolls him up for 2.  Cena puts Rock on the top rope.  Rock pushes Cena down.  Rock is on the top, cross body and Cena rolls through…..ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!  Cover gets 2.999999999!  Now Cena wants to People’s Elbow, kip-up, ROCK BOTTOM!  Rock wins it @ 30:33.  (Pardon me for being biased, but Cena had to carry Rock in that one.  I expected more, but the match was great.  Rock still has it, I will say that.  A-.)
–  Show ends with $250, 000 of pyr being shot off as Rock stands in the ring breathing it all in.
–  As this rivalry grew on and on, I had sided with Cena.  I was happy with the way the show went, even though I would have liked to see DB/Sheamus get more than 18 seconds of fury.  The casual fan (the people I watched it with) only marked out for Taker/HHH.  I was out my chair for that match.  Just loved it.  Call me old-fashioned.  It told a helluva story and I left that match spent.  Punk/Jericho didn’t disappoint either.  Everything else seemed rushed.  But hell it’s Wrestlemania…take it or leave it.  See you Thursday night.