Note: I’ve been watching wrestling since I was three. I’ve been trying to find an excuse to use my power as News Editor at CM Life to make people read what I think about it. Here goes.

JBL vs. Finlay: We were late and I missed this match. I’m going to borrow the tape and watch it, but JBL won, which is alright I guess because both guys are pretty cool. I hope they stretch this feud out and keep Hornswoggle out of the picture. These two big old guys can fight.

Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Every year part of me wants to say this is the match of the night and part of me wants to say it’s the worst match of the night. You don’t get any storyline, no one sells leg, back, or shoulder injuries, and half the moves don’t look like they’re supposed to. Frankly, at some points I was too worried about the wrestlers to care much about what was going on in the ring. CM Punk took a standing Green Bay Plunge onto a ladder that made a cracking sound that made me cringe. Shelton Benjamin also took a sick bump, flipping over the top rope and landing on a wooden ladder that cracked in half. Every year, we get a lot from Money in the Bank in a short period of time (under 20 minutes) and every year come the end I think “couldn’t you have been more climactic than that?” This year, the end came when Jericho somehow (it was never explained how) got his leg caught in the ladder while him and CM Punk were climbing one end each, leaving Jericho hanging upside down and letting Punk grab the briefcase. I love CM Punk and I hope he takes the Money in the Bank opportunity and moves to Raw or Smackdown, he has quite frankly done all he can on ECW. I think he’d be a great fit on Smackdown, with its younger viewership where his straight edge lifestyle could serve as a kind of role model for kids. At least showing them that not everyone who abstains from drugs and alcohol is a total square.  ***

Batista vs Umaga: Maybe I went into this match with unrealistic expectations, but while I was excited about the process of these two quick, powerful big men fighting each other in what was sure to be a brutal match, it ended up being mostly forgettable. Umaga dominated the match, but Batista came out of nowhere and hit a Batista Bomb. I’m using the term loosely, because Batista actually fell over while he was delivering it. You wonder why the guy gets injured so much, it’s because of stupid botches like this one. He finished the move and it still looked cool, but a little sloppy. The worst part is you could visibly see not only during the match but in the replay when Batista fell over doing the move, he started laughing. I like Batista, I saw him outside of Wrestlemania 23, I was like three feet away from him and told him good luck on his match with Undertaker and he said “thank you” but have some professionalism, man. Of course, if I botched the finish at the biggest event of the year, I’d probably laugh too. * 1/2*

Kane vs. Chavo Guerrero This match was pointless. Kane chokeslammed Chavo and the fans cheered, but that’s about it. This is to wrestling what Robot Chicken is to television. You get a laugh, but nothing of substance. No one really benefits and Chavo Guerrero looks like a weak champion, which makes the guy he beat for the title (CM Punk) look even more weak, etc. etc. Chavo’s entire reign has been a joke and a disgrace to his wrestling ability and his family name. He’s only won two matches clean, both against talented guys who WWE has chosen to bring to jobber status. My friend Katie loves Kane, but he’s boring in the ring. I swear if they have Kane vs Big Daddy V for the ECW world title I’m going to write a whole other blog just complaining about that alone. 1/4*

Ric Flair vs Shawn Michaels Sure the result of this match was a foregone conclusion (naturally Flair is going to lose and retire at Wrestlemania), but for a half hour, my sense of reality was suspended and I thought maybe, just maybe, Flair could pull it off. That’s what wrestling’s all about. Michaels botched two different moonsaults and hit his knee twice, once going through the Raw announce table knee first. I’m not sure how much of it was planned, but you can’t fake either of those falls. Flair worked over Michaels’ legs for a while and cinched in the figure 4 with Michaels breaking it twice. Michaels was playing the tortured man the entire match, he wanted to win, but didn’t want to make Flair retire, kind of like when he didn’t want to accept the match a month ago. At one point he purposely hesitated during Sweet Chin Music allowing Flair to hook in the figure 4 instead. Michaels hit not one but two sweet chin musics out of nowhere that actually hit Flair in the chin like the name implies. Flair kicked out of the first, and the two fought for a bit, but once Michaels hit the sweet chin music out of nowhere a second time, he started warming up for one more. As Flair was coming to his feet, you saw tears well up in Shawn’s eyes as he said “I’m sorry, I love you” before hitting it and getting the pin. Immediately afterwards he embraced Flair, kissing him before leaving uneventfully to allow Flair the grand exit. Flair is in tears. Michaels is in tears. Flair’s family is in tears. A real class act. The match should have been about ten minutes longer. Also note that these guys chopped each other harder than I’ve ever heard chops during the match. ****1/2*

Ashley and Maria vs. Beth Phoenix and Melina A match between four beautiful ladies (fine, three beautiful ladies and Ashley) usually wouldn’t bother me, but this match was just BAD. In Tina Fey 30 Rock style, I’ll start with a genuine compliment. Maria looked great. Her makeup, no matter how impractical for a wrestling match, made the gorgeous Maria look even hotter. Ashley looks horrible, of course, and Melina and Beth Phoenix actually look worse than their usual beautiful selves. The match itself had three high points. 1) Santino Marella comes to ringside with Melina and Beth Phoenix wearing a feather boa 2) The lights inexplicably go out for like 30 seconds and the clueless girls keep wrestling. Backup lights come on. 3) After the match, Maria got herself a sensual seduction (not to be confused with the ever-popular lifeline cover) by making out with Snoop Dogg. Seriously, Beth Phoenix and Melina are better wrestlers than some of the guys in WWE, why waste their time with Ashley, who will always be horrible, and Maria who’s still growing in the ring. 1/2*

John Cena vs. HHH vs. Randy Orton Fine, we get it, every year John Cena is going to have an entrance to honor the city wrestlemania is in. In Chicago, he did an Al Capone thing. In Detroit, he pretended to drive a stunt car. At the Orange Bowl, he had a marching band play his theme music out. It was actually pretty cool. Cena and HHH dominated the match and I was wondering which of the WWE’s golden boys they’d give the strap to, I was very pleasantly surprised when Orton walked away with the belt after a sweet finish. HHH hit Cena with the pedigree and covered him 1, 2, then Orton kicked HHH in the head and covered Cena for 3. Randy Orton is now the second bad guy to ever walk out of Wrestlemania as world champion. Good for him. The match worked to everyone’s strengths and was fast-paced and looked great. The ending made Orton look like a sneaky, conniving bad guy and made HHH’s pedigree look strong, as it kept Cena down for 5 seconds (at least). My guess is Orton loses it next month to HHH. Oh well, it was good to see him walk out as champ one more time. ***1/2*

The Big Show vs Floyd Mayweather The one thing WWE has been doing right with this feud is that from day one when Mayweather jumped into the ring and broke Big Show’s nose in real life while the commentators said nothing, this whole thing looked REAL. There wasn’t a good or bad guy, the lines between fact and reality were so effectively blurred that something in the back of my mind half expected this fight to be legit. While I’m sure it wasn’t, for the first 15 minutes it looked it. Floyd would punch and run away, punch and run. Both men played to their strengths, Floyd running and using his quickness and powerful punches while The Big Show kept trying to overpower Floyd, though he couldn’t catch him. Floyd hit a few good shots and looked in a sleeper while riding Show piggyback that actually made The Big Show’s face turn red. In keeping the match looking real, Floyd literally didn’t pull any punches and you could see red welts on Big Show’s body every time Floyd hit him. Big Show finally caught up to Floyd, stomping on his hand and standing on Mayweather while his posse tried to convince the refs he wasn’t allowed to, though it was no disqualification. Big Show took out a few members of Floyd’s posse and Floyd tried to run away, only for Show to catch up with him and drag him back to the ring. Floyd resorted to kicks, selling his injured hands from Big Show stomping on them. Finally, one of Floyd’s posse hit Big Show with a chair as he went to chokeslam Floyd. Though the move didn’t affect Big Show, it distracted him long enough for Floyd to grab the chair and hit Show with it like five times. Once show was on his knees, we had a replay of No Way Out. Floyd hit Big Show in the face and when he didn’t go down, he took the glove off his hand, took the brass knuckles off the necklace of his fallen posse member and popped Big Show a good one that knocked him down for ten, giving Floyd Mayweather the one. Good luck convincing the IBA to add that win to your record. 3*** (not bad considering Show has been out of the ring for over a year and it was Floyd’s first (and probably only) wrestling match.

Edge vs Undertaker I usually hate Edge, but I think he really proved he was a main event wrestler tonight, as much as I hate him. This match was great and full of storytelling. Instead of the usual Taker dominated match with Edge somehow escaping that I thought I would see, we had Edge dominating, reversing every one of Taker’s moves and hitting more than a few more. Edge reversed The Last Ride, The Tombstone, Old School, and The Chokeslam. The end came when Edge hit Undertaker with a video camera, Taker sat straight up and then got Edge to tap out to this triangle choke-like submission move. ****


One Response to “Wrestlemania”

  1. Thomas Rosquin Says:

    I just caught the video on youtube, and man was it great!!! Big show looked like a giant next to Floyd (or anyone for that matter) it was great. And the punch at the end with the brass knuckles would kill any normal human.

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