Monday, April 22, 2013

Wrestlemania 29 Review

As I'm sure, you've all watched the Super Bowl of wrestling last weekend. And if you haven't, well its okay, not everyone can be cool or loved. I don't judge, as do most of your parents. For those who weren't there and couldn't see it, I'm here to bring you the play-by-play of the show itself. My first time ever at the new Giants and Jets stadium, MetLife Stadium and boy let me tell you, it was a beautiful place. The stadum packed in over 80,000 people into it and every last voice was heard that night. Every match, from the 3-Man Tag Team, to the best match of the night, Undertaker vs. CM Punk, to the main event, The Rock vs. John Cena. The theme for the night was "coming home" as you all know, WrestleMania got its start in gold ol' New York at Madison Square Garden, and since then had been there multiple times. The event has become so big now though, that the last couple years, its been forced to move to stadiums that can fit the crowd it brings in. The set for the place was phenominal, there was a huge Statue of Liberty above the ring and the ramp was at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, which was in front of the Empire State Building. A truly beautiful set, with a powerful strong message, reconstruction and strength for New York and New Jersey after the devistation of Hurricane Sandy last October.
    The first match of the night was the 3-Man Tag-Team Match between Sheamus, Randy Orton and The Big Show vs. The Shield. This was a very entertaining match and it set of the mood for WrestleMania just perfectly. High flying fighting, like every match should be. It ended painfully though, Sheamus was getting his ass handed to him and was crawling over to Big Show, before Orton literally steals the tag, shocking Big Show. Then Orton goes and loses the match. How was Senor Big respond to this? Gives Randy a nice good boot to the face after the bell is rung. Just for fun, let's give Sheamus a foot to the face as well, why the hell not? Great match, filled with hard hitting dudes, and betrayal. The next match was against a guy I used to watch when I was younger, Mark Henry. Strongest man in the world, the title he's been given. He went face to face against a guy new to me, and a quick favorite of mine. His name was RyBack and man oh man was this guy massive. Muscles sitting on muscles, and a catch prase that suggests an appetite, "Feed! Me! More!", he was robbed of a win. Personally that's just what I think, but they gotta follow the script. Oh, man, did I just blow that for you guys?
    The following match was a Tag-Team match for the belts. Team "Hell No" which consists of Kane, another childhood favorite of mine and Daniel Brian. For those who don't know, but may have seen some meme's, he's the guy who doesn't speak...unless he's chanting YES! YES! YES! or NO! NO! NO! They squared off Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston. When Kane came out, the entire place went dark except for the fire lights around the stadium, just like I remember as a kid. Even the letters around the stadium reading MetLife turned a firey red. The same intor music he's had since the beginning left a creepy chill running down my spine. In the end, team Hell No came out the victors of this match. The following match up was yet again, another childhood favorite of mine and even one I got to meet a couple years ago at a book signing. Chris Jericho vs. a brand new wrestler fighting in his first ever WWE match, Fandango. Coming out to an extravagent dance number with many beautiful woman. Good ol' Y2J wasn't going to allow that and come out to some boring into though. Sporting a very colorful, light up jacket, Jericho makes his intro with fireworks just as bright as that very jacket. A very exciting match, but it ended in disappointment. This was a high flying match if any. Right from the get, Jericho leaping and running around going full on assault on the poor Fandango. After missing a Lionsault, and some failed Walls of Jericho's Fandango finally got the WWE veteran in a three count and won his first WrestleMania match, and first WWE match period.
    The following match had a very interesting intro. It was Alberto del Rio vs. Jack Swagger. Swagger brought with him an uncomfortable racist guest. His name was Colter and he went on about how when walking through the streets of New York, everyone was only speaking Spanish, Greek, Italian, everything but English. Needless to say, the response to that speech in New Jersey was a sea of boo's. Not as much as for John Cena, but we'll get to that later. Swagger got a very early advantage on the Mexican wrestler, Del Rio but that wasn't going to stop anyone. Submission after submission from both ends, it ended in Swagger finally tapping out and giving up. Alberto del Rio destroyed the dream of Swagger's America. Now I'm not Mexican but I sure was happy to see him win that match. He also walked away with the World Heavyweight Championship title. Good yob meng, good yob.
    Night has been falling for quite some time now at this point, and the Statue of Libery above the ring never looked more beautiful. The lights on the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge began to light up and gleam in the cold night. A beautiful set day and night. And then, the match everyone has been waiting for. The Undertaker, winning of 21 Wrestlemanias, loser of none, and CM Punk. Punk's intro song is by Living Colour, Cult of Personality and the WWE even got the band to come to Jersey and play live as he made his intro. The band has never sounded better, I'm considering it a concert I don't care if it was only one song. The solo's were fast and on point and those drums big and loud. Then the lights go out and the floor opens up at the top of the ramp. The screens turn an electric blue, and smoke begins to form at the enterance. Fire erupts from the Brooklyn Bridge and The Undertaker comes up from Hell...or the under part of the ramp, but Hell sounds cooler. So we're going with Hell. Coolest part of the intro though, there were people painted red, made to look like prisoners of Hell, reaching out at The Undertaker as he came out, as to bring him back into Hell with them, making him a fellow prisoner. Even as he made his way into the ring you could still see them reaching out, wanting to crawl out and pull him back. Very creepy looking from my seat, I can imagine what it looked like for the kids down in the seats and on TV. The match was fast paced from the start, both men beating the unholy hell out of each other. Punk fighting a very high flying fight, jumping off ropes and turnbuckles. Even launching himself to the Spanish announcer table (of course, its always the Spanish one to go first) except it didn't break. Punk ended up landing on his ass, no literally, sitting on the table as Undertaker slid off to avoid being hit. Towards the end of the match, everyone was waiting for that infamous dead man's sit thing that the Undertaker does and when he finally did it, I felt the fesar of God in me. He sat up and stared right into the soul of  CM Punk and if looks could kill, Punk would have holes in his face by now. It ended with The Undertaker victorious, as it should have. This match was for Paul Bearer, Undertakers original promoter and I believe scripted as his father. Maybe. I think. Anywho, he died earlier this year and the WWE used that to fuel the fued between these two. Congrats on another year continuing the streak, I hope it is never broken and The Undertaker may retire with that incredible accomplishment under his much deserved belt.
    The match I was personally waiting for the Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar. Triple H was always my favorite wrestler from when I was a young kid, and having two losing WrestleMania's in a row (against The Undertaker at that) he was due for a winning Mania, and especially in my home state. I was pumped of course. After losing against Lesnar at Summer Slam, Triple H wanted a rematch, but Brock would only agree if it meant Triple H would retire if losing. Nothing we haven't seen before, a career on the line. A No Holds Barred match meaning no ring outs, no disqualifications. Winning is determined by submission or pin fall. Anyone who knows Triple H knows, this is exactly his specialty. The peak of the match was on the outside, Brock grabs the steel steps and wails on his opponent with them repeatedly, even tossing the steps into the ring. Triple H using one of his iconic weapons, the sleadge hammer. Knocking Brock around like a rag doll around the ring. Eventually, Brock was slamming Triple H on those steps in the ring, only to be put quickly in the Kamora arm lock. The very lock Brock put on Triple H multiple times throughout the year, the move that broke his arm twice! While in the lock, Brock stands up, Triple H wraped around him, and slams him again but BOOM, another arm lock. This cycle goes on for about 3 times before Brock finally realizes he should roll over after the slam. The ending on the match was perfect though, Triple H drags a broken, beaten Lesnar over to the steps, climbs up on top and executes his finisher move ON the steps! The Pedigree, slamming Brock's face into the steps and going for the pin. The 9-year old inside of me was losing all sanity at that point. It was great watching a childhood hero win on the greatest stage in sports entertainment in my home state. 
    Finally, the main event of the night. A match that most people believed would never happen...since last year it was titled the "Once in A Lifetime" match. The Rock vs. John Cena rematch. Last WrestleMania, The Rock defeated Cena marking the first, and supposed, only time I'd ever root for him. This year was the second, and still hopefully last, time I'd do the same. Last years loss crushed Cena inside and outside the ring. Leading to a divorce and loss after loss at more pay-per-views and regular TV events. Cena wanted this win more than anything. The two monsters clashed like Titans, exchanging hit for hit. The ending of the match became a battle for the finsher move. Failed attempt after failed attempt, each man trying to land the Rock Bottom and the Attitude Adjustment. The place went nuts when The Rock pulled off the People's Elbow, the most electrifying move in sports entertainment, and all that other jazz people call it. Even Cena mocked the move, only to be reversed by The Rock...sorta. Expecting a reversal, Cena reversed the reversal. The ending of the match was another battle for the finisher, Cena twisting out of the Rock Bottom, and The Rock quickly hopping down from the Attitude Adjustment until finally, someone lands it. Cena fully plays out the Attitude Adjustment and the crowd goes silent. They know what's coming, the pin. 1-2-3 and its now over. The Rock loses the rematch of the year. All year, Cena had been teasing that he's turning heel, and judging by the boo's of the entire stadium, he got what he wanted. People hate this man, but he doesn't go heel. He actually shakes The Rock's hand and peaces up with him. He leaves the ring doing that stupid salute thing he does, leaving The Rock in the ring stunned. Eventually he goes out and they both leave together after seeing off the crowd. Lights come up, shows over.
    This was my first WrestleMania in actual attendance, and I can't even count how many me and my brother have ordered on TV. It was an experience I'll never forget, a show that'll never lose its spark. The lights, the sounds, the sweat, the tears, the roars of the crowd. One thing I will say though, if The Undertaker DOES have another WrestleMania match, I'm kind of tired of seeing the opponent try to Tombstone him and do his famous hands over chest pin. Triple H did it two years ago and CM Punk did it this year. The show was amazing start to finish, no match was boring, and unlike last year, no match was 7 seconds long. I'm looking at you, Sheamus. Right at you. Being there brought me a feeling I wish will never be exceeded, but also a feeling I hope to soon have again.

-Matt Milanes

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