Monday, April 4, 2011

Wrestlemania 27 Review!

Finally, StrawHatRican HAS come back to the Beach House!

And I met a certain political figure that inspired me during said exile...

After a small, albeit necessary, vacation from the Blog-sphere (that's a real word right?) I have come back to regale you with One Piece reviews and other fine forms of entertainment. As I write this, I have just witnessed the "Granddaddy of them All" and the "Showcase of Immortals." Anyone out of the loop is probably reading this confused and bewildered, but for the SMALL percentage of you still with me, I'm talking about the 27th annual celebration of sports entertainment (read: wrestling). I'm talking of course about Wrestlemania!

Complete with Seventy One Thousand and some odd rabid fans.

  Anyone that's been paying attention should have figured out by now that I'm a huge wrestling fan (seeing as how wrestling is the closest "real life" representation of shonen). Wrestlemania is essentially the combination of wrestling and entertainment in the Hollywood-esque sense, making it the biggest wrestling (or Sports Entertainment if you're a stickler like Vince McMahon is) event of the year. Think Superbowl of wrestling and you got the right idea. This year was no different in spectacle and pageantry, as good ol' J.R. says, and we even got The Rock as Guest Host (who had been absent for about 7 years). So without further ado, let's REVIEW THIS BAD BOY!

Smackethdownethius Maximus.
    So the event begins with the usual fanfare and rendition of "America the Beautiful" (this year by Keri Hilson) and we get our first ever Guest Host for Wrestlemania... who hasn't lost a beat in that ring for that long of an absence. He pumps the crowd for a good 15 minutes before the first match in the card begins...

U.S. Title Match: Sheamus Vs. Daniel Bryan

 Wait a tick... this match doesn't open (the Pay Per View) and it gets canned as a result. No love for Daniel Bryan I guess. That's kind of a pickle; well then WWE, what match ARE we going to start with?

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Edge (with Christian) Vs. Alberto Del Rio (with Brodus Clay)

Son of a bitch.

  Let me get this straight, we're starting Wrestlemania 27, the BIGGEST event of the year for the business with the match where the SECOND most important title in the company is being contested? Talk about blowing your load early. Whatever tickles your pickle, Vince. Unsurprisingly the match was actually very good, Del Rio worked Edge's arm throughout the ENTIRE match (with some assistance by the morbidly obese and creepy Brodus) but it all came down to a nice Rolling Cross Armbreaker from Del Rio countered into Edge's patented Spear (read: Tackle) to end the match. Some shenanigans after the match concerning Del Rio's $100,000 Rolls Royce car getting smashed by Edge and Christian lend to the theory that the feud between these two might not be over, and Del Rio's destiny with the World Heavyweight Championship has just suffered a small setback.

The referee makes this picture 110% more hilarious.

Match Rating

Rey Mysterio, Jr. Vs. Cody "Don't call me Dr. Doom" Rhodes
  Since these feud properly started and Cody dropped his "Dashing" persona for one of a "tragically disfigured man" I've been joking that Rhodes is essentially Dr. Doom and Rey Mysterio is Masked Super Hero X. So what does Rey do for Wrestlemania?

"El Capitán América!!!1!1!"
  Yes, he came dressed as Captain America, that's not a photoshop. I saw that with my very own eyes and laughed for about a good 10 minutes. Which incidentally was the duration (give or take) for the match. The match itself was great, with some great ring psychology from Cody Rhodes as the "tormented" heel. Especially when he lost his Dr. Doom mask and pretended to be horribly disfigured for the remainder of the match and tried hiding his face. Hilarious. The ending came with a nice spot where Cody held Rey Mysterio's knee brace (after removing it) and having Rey smash right into it at 100mph (hyperbole, kids) face first. Now I just need the following to happen:


  And.. my life is complete.

Match Rating

Cluster F*ck.

  The next match was supposed to be the "Corre," cuz spelling "Core" with one R is passe (on the bottom of the pic) Vs. Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Kozlov, collectively known as "Team Double U Tea Eff" by yours truly. Due to an injury (storyline = angle) Mr. Kozlov and all his Red Russian glory had to skip out in favor of Kofi Kingston. So if you write an injury angle and bring one of the fastest rising stars in the company to the match that probably means we'll get a nice long tag match where everyone shows why they're on the "Showcase of Immortals." Nope, not so much. Everyone brawls, and by brawl I mean act like spot monkeys and perform finishers in succession, for about 5 minutes and before you know it Santino performs his "Cobra" finisher on Heath Slater (the ginger on the left) and Big Show accentuates it with his unnamed "Knock Out Punch" finisher. Which makes me want to send him a twitter message reading only "Giganto Pistoru" just to see what he does.

The "Cobra" is SO scary that Santino has to close his eyes when performing the dreaded technique.

Match Rating

"Randall" Orton Vs. "Cookie Monster" Punk

 I can't put my finger on it, but everytime CM Punk calls Randy Orton, "Randall," I laugh uncontrollably. It speaks volumes about CM Punk as a character if anything. The match itself was THIS close to stealing the show. The ring psychology employed by both competitors was top notch. CM Punk worked Randy's "injured" leg for the entirety of the match and it prevented a punt attempt by Mr. Orton in the final minutes of the match. When all hope seemed lost and the dastardly (fitting description for Punk's character) Punk was moving in for the kill on a prone and weak Orton we got a QUICK (and I mean faster than the speed of light) attempt at an RKO that Punk barely escaped. His face alone was worth a thousand words. Not even a minute after said RKO, Punk attempted to springboard clothesline Orton only to eat an RKO. I'd give the match a perfect rating if it wasn't for the laziness of the booking at the VERY end (how the hell did Orton get up THAT fast with an "injured" leg?) but great match by both men overall.

RKO: Smashing Faces since 2002
Match Rating

Jerry "The King" Lawler Vs. Michael "GDYC" Cole /w Jack Swagger: with Steve Austin as Special Referee
  A great man once said "God Damn You Cole," and ever since I heard him utter those words (and the aforementioned abbreviation) I was inclined to agree with him. Normally Michael Cole was just rubbing people the wrong way due to his personality. But then something happened. Michael Cole went from annoying by default... to annoying on purpose, in FULL FORCE. The product of which is this "match." Let's be perfectly honest here, Michael Cole is just an announcer and has NEVER been involved in a match (let alone a Wrestlemania one). And nothing against Jerry but he is a bit past his prime, granted he gave us a clinic against The Miz in a title match but I digress. Swagger was a bit underused here but he managed to get some cheap shots in and even a hilarious attempt at throwing the towel in the ring, to which Stone Cold wiped his face with said towel and proceeded to Stone Cold Stunner Jackie boy for the Hell of it. The match came to the predicable finish after some abuse via Jerry and Stone Cold shenanigans on Cole. ONLY to have said victory be reversed by the Anonymous GM via that blasted laptop. It's one of those things where the booking of a match is completely and utterly negated and the crowd never... ever, agrees with it. Now we get to hear Cole brag about "beating" Jerry at Wrestlemania. Oh joy...

Michael Cole #winning
Match Rating
(only because of the fallout this match is going to produce)

Undertaker Vs. Triple H: No Holds Barred

  19-0, that's the Undertaker's current streak, as of this Wrestlemania. Think about that. He's been booked to win 19 years in a row at the "Grandest Stage of them All." Granted some of those victories have been extremely hollow and not exactly legendary but for the past five years or so the Undertaker has delivered Match of the Night (if not Year) contenders. Legitimately Hall of Famer matches material. His past two encounters with HBK at Wrestlemania are nothing short of a religious experience for a wrestling fan. Since this match was announced, many people (myself included) did not honestly believe Triple H had a chance (I know he's the Heir to the Throne and all...) or that he would be able to perform at the level that Shawn Michaels did. Undertaker is the glue that holds all of this together though. This match went well over the 30 minute mark, but every single second of this match was like watching an epic battle between two gladiators in Rome during the height of the Roman Empire. Tables broke, glass shattered (sort of), chairs were bent (and abused, R.I.P. black steel chair), sledgehammers were swung; all in the PG era of wrestling no less. If this match was booked in TNA or anytime earlier than 2008 we would've had two bloodied and beaten contenders. Instead we got a demolished Undertaker (that Tombstone Piledriver that HHH delivered on him looked STIFF as all Hell) and a legit broken nose HHH (in his defense, 80% of HHH's body IS his nose). The insanity of the match did come to an abrupt close via the Undertaker's Devil's Gate triangle choke submission, but Triple H was THIS close to delivering a sledgehammer to the skull of Undertaker as he was being choked, that fact alone gave the audience that small nudge of doubt that Undertaker would walk out of the Georgia Dome with his Streak intact. And that my friends, is what wrestling is all about.

Future Hall of Famer: Black Steel Chair

Match Rating

John Morrison/Trish Stratus and Snooki(!??!) Vs. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool
 What is this I don't even.

 I'm not going to pretend that missing out on Daniel Bryan Vs. Sheamus and having THIS "match" instead doesn't irk me. Because it does, greatly. I understand the need to get mainstream media attention. I get that. I also understand the need to buffer an amazing match (Undies Vs. Nose) with your Main Event (Miz Vs. Cena). I'm totally on the boat with all that jazz. But this match had no reason to exist. It's just there. The less said the better. BUT, I will say this, Snookie only did TWO moves but both were actually impressive considering the source material AND (and this is important) she didn't botch EITHER move. Something the entire WWE Divas Locker Room should take note on...

Snookimania will not be running wild...

Match (what...?) Rating

WWE Title Match: The Miz Vs. John Cena

 The spectacle of this match alone gets a perfect rating from me. If spectacle was the thing to base my scores. In all seriousness, whoever decided to package The Miz's history during his time on MTV in the Real World, and his slow ascension within the ranks of the WWE while the song "You Can Hate Me Now" by Nas played, deserves a raise. That was sheer genius. On the flipside whoever decided to give Cena a prayer intro alongside with a choir deserves a kick to the ass. Listen, WWE fans older than 8 and of the Male gender will boo ANYTHING associated with Cena. Jesus himself can come down and cure AIDS, prevent War and save our collective souls but the second you associate him with Cena people WILL boo him. Anything associated with Cena gets boo'd, it's the natural order of things in 2011. It sucks because the choir was actually rather talented, but they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. The same could be said about Cena.

  The match itself wasn't exactly greatness, but WWE Main Events rarely tend to be technical marvels of professional wrestling. It's all about context. The Miz is out to prove himself as a credible champion in the face of adversity and his haters. Cena, on the flip side has accepted that his character will be hated by everyone except the children (which is fine, children NEED a boyscout hero) and extremely naive soccer moms. The two couldn't be any more different conceptually, but they both are wrestlers and both are after the same goal. The WWE Title. Unfortunately for Cena, he made an enemy on the side whilst challenging The Miz. The match initially ended with a double count out rendering The Miz as the retaining Champ by default. In comes the Guest Host: the People's Champ. The Rock decides to restart the match, and just as The Miz slips off Cena's shoulders before getting an Attitude Adjustment, Bam!

"And this is for goddamn Legendary!"

  Rock Bottom on John Cena. It was like if a millions of voices were suddenly silenced... then all cheered in unison across the multiverses. It's one of those weird moments were logistics like heel and face don't matter anymore. We just have the "moment." The Miz obviously retained his title after capitalizing on the Rock's involvement. Haters continued to hate. Cena now has a clear goal, the WWE title can wait...

Match Rating
Note: Two hats were added because of the picture above.

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