WrestleMania 29 In The Books – Recap & Thoughts

WrestleMania 29 PosterWrestleMania 29 is in the books as is our yearly Beeramid.  Full recap and pics of THAT event coming shortly.  For now, I want to take a look at the PPV itself and give some thoughts and feedback.

The pre-event build was actually pretty piss poor this year.  The WWE really didn’t do anything all the special to build to their biggest show of the year and it showed.  That said, I think they KNOW people are going to buy this PPV simply because of the name “WrestleMania”.  Remember folks, now that the WWE is publicly traded it’s all about the money.  If you think otherwise you’re fooling yourself.  As such, the WWE really doesn’t put a ton of build into their 4 flagships: WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam & Survivor Series.  After all… they don’t have to.  The people are going to buy them regardless.

All of that said, I’ve got my own reasons to be jazzed for Mania as it means Pip is going to be in town.  Watching the shows with him and my brother has become an event all of its own.  As I said, I’ll get to that in another post.

For now here’s a Mania recap:

  • Miz defeated Wade Barrett (c) for the Intercontinental Championship
    This was on the YouTube pre-show which is kind of a bummer cause it was a nice little match.  Good to see Miz pick up some gold once again, though a bummer that he lost it the next night.  I’m hoping that this “activity” with the IC title means they’re going to bring it back to some sort of prominence within the company as opposed to being ignored (see the US Title which wasn’t on Mania at all).      
  • The Shield defeated Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show
    I was kind of surprised to see this one start off the show but thrilled to see The Shield get the win.  As I said in my prediction post this was kind of a no brainer if the WWE wanted to keep The Shield as any sort of entity moving forward.  The post match “heel turn” from Big Show was yawn inducing.  Personally I just don’t care about Orton, Sheamus or Show but the match itself was a good way to kick off the PPV even if the crowd was dead.
  • Mark Henry defeated Ryback
    This one had all the makings of a terrible big man math a la Lesnar vs. Goldberg from WrestleMania 20.  Luckily it was MUCH better than that and these guys really did put on a good match.  Henry is awesome playing the monster heel and when he doesn’t need to worry about hurting his opponent he’s that much better.  I’ve got to give it to the WWE here as I didn’t think there’d be a way for both guys to come out looking good but they managed to do just that.  They gave Henry the win but allowed Ryback to get his steam back by putting Henry into his finsher post match.  Well done.
  • Team Hell No (c) defeated Dolph Ziggler & Big E. Langston for the WWE Tag Team Championship
    I’ll start of by saying that I’ve never been a big fan of tag team wrestling and I think this whole Daniel Bryan / Kane team ran its course MONTHS ago.  That said, this was still a decent tag match.  The internet wrestling community was looking for Ziggler to walk away with some gold here  (as I also predicted) but I can’t say that I’m unhappy with the outcome here especially after what we got on RAW the next night where they’re clearly setting up a Shield / Hell No program for the titles.  OK for what it was… a lower mid card match.
  • Fandango defeated Chris Jericho
    Fandango sucks.  Period end of story.  And no… I’m not talking about Johnny Curtis’ in ring work.  I’m talking about the character.  Curtis is actually decent in the ring, but was in way over his head here.  Having a debut match against a seasoned pro like Jericho is simply too much pressure to give a young guy.  Jericho did his best to make the guy shine and he just unfortuantely fell flat.  Luckily (for the WWE) the marks in the IWC are eating this guy up… just like WWE wants.
  • Alberto Del Rio (c) defeated Jack Swagger for the World Heavyweight Championship
    I picked Swagger to win.  I’m hapy to say that I was wrong.  This was a tight little mid card match for the mid card championship… er… World Heavyweight Championship.  In retrospect this one should have been an easy pick as Swagger is most likely going to be off TV for a while serving his DUI suspension.  Good on WWE for not doing the obvious thing that everyone wanted and waiting one night for the Dolph cash in on RAW.
  • The Undertaker defeated CM Punk
    Solid match from two pros.  I’d heard time and time again before this match how Punk was going to have to carry Taker.  Why?  When was the last time Taker had a bad match?  Sure dude only wrestles once or twice a year these days but they’re always outstanding matches.  Undertaker MORE than held his own in this match and it was clearly the match of the night in my opinion.  There were some really nice false finishes here that actually had me thinking a couple of times that The Streak may actually come to an end.  Kudos to both Taker and CM Punk for giving us a nice high point in the middle of the card.  This could have easily been the main event for the show… well done gentlemen.  I’ve gone on record many times as saying The Undertaker is my all time favorite.  And while I’ve said that it’s time for him to be gone for good, if he can keep delivering matches like this once a year then I see no reason for him to stop.
  • Triple H defeated Brock Lesnar
    This is exactly what it needed to be.  It was two guys who don’t like one another beating the shit out of one another.  At this point in his career HHH isn’t going to be doing much except for these no holds barred type matches where he can fight as opposed to wrestle, but when he’s up against someone like Lesnar that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  I could have really done without Shawn Michaels and Paul Heyman in this match.  If I ever see either of those guys again it’ll be too soon.  And I don’t care how many times Shawn Michaels refers to himself as “Mr. WrestleMania”… that moniker is reserved for one man and one man alone… The Undertaker.  Good lord Shawn it’s WrestleMania… at least put on a damn shirt with sleeves.
  • John Cena defeated The Rock (c) for the WWE Championship
    For the second time in as many years, we get Rock / Cena to end the show.  Last year, Cena carried Rock to what I considered to be a pretty decent match.  This year, Rock has been in the ring for a couple of months leading up to Mania and it shows.  Save for Taker / Punk this would have been the match of the night.  For years folks (myself included) have been calling for a John Cena heel turn.  We didn’t get it here but what we did get was a solid match.  At this point I think we’re clearly headed toward Cena / Rock III at WrestleMania 30.

This show is getting a TON of hate on the web and specifically from the IWC (internet wrestling community) and I just don’t get it.  There’s a couple of criticisms that I’ve been hearing over and over again…

“This guy or that guy, or this match or that match was bumped from the card.  And then we got a bunch of video packages!”

Folks… have you not been watching wrestling for the decade?  EVERY card is “subject to change”.  Just cause the guy you’re marking out for wasn’t good enough to make the final card doesn’t mean the card sucks.  We got 8 matches plus the better than average Barrett vs. Miz match on the pre-show.  Last year we had… 8 matches on the main card with Primo / Epico vs. Gabriel / Kidd.  Oh and by the way… one of those matches last year was an 18 second World Title Match.  Yet last year I didn’t hear the same complaints.  Honestly, if you’re REALLY pissed that Brodus Clay and Lord Tensai weren’t allowed to make fools of themselves I’m not sure what to tell you.

“The Rock is a part time champion who’s taking a top spot of one of the younger guys!”

Yes… yes he is.  You know why?  Cause he sells tickets.  Rock / Cena II was the money match just like Rock / Cena was the money match last year.  You know why Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk wasn’t the main event?  Cause even though it would have been a hell of a lot better wrestling match, no one would buy it.  Sorry IWC… that’s the truth.  Main stream wrestling fans wouldn’t pay to see that match.  And that’s the bottom line… cause Vince McMahon said so.  I’ve got news for you.  If you didn’t like this year’s main event, you’re REALLY going to hate next year’s when you see it for the 3rd time.

“RAW the next night was SO MUCH better than WrestleMania. They’re giving away their best matches for free and I’m pissed for spending $70.  Next year I’m not going to buy WrestleMania… I’ll just watch the next night’s RAW!!!”

This is quite possibly the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.  If you’re really going to judge WrestleMania based on the RAW the next night then you’re nothing but a bitter mark who’s looking for stuff to be pissed about.  As I said before, WrestlMania sells itself… the WWE knows you’re going to buy it so in all honesty there’s really no REASON for them to make it all that special.  The fact that they have made it such a good show in the past is the REASON you buy it every year sight unseen.  So what if Dolph didn’t cash until the night after Mania?  It made for a damn fine episode of RAW.  And really?  You’re not going to buy WrestleMania 30?  Sure you’re not.  I’ll be looking for your bitter review the next morning.

Was WrestleMania 29 a great show?  Not by a long shot.  But it was a solid show that told a story.  Instead of the 37 main events we normally get, we got an actual under card, mid card and upper card.  The show built from beginning to end and that was a good thing.  Just because it’s not quite the way a typical WWE PPV is booked doesn’t make it “wrong” nor does it make it a terrible show.  And just because it was followed by an epic RAW the night after doesn’t take away from it either.

So there you have it.  As I said before, overall it was a  good show.  Maybe not a top 5 entry, but I don’t think I’d put it in my bottom 5 either.  WrestleMania 30 will be held on April 6th, 2014 from the Superdome in New Orleans.  And I can’t WAIT!

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