WWE’s signature show was expected to draw 1 million buyrates thanks to former wrestling great and current movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s headlining the main event.
A real-life action figure took center stage this past weekend. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his return to the wrestling ring after a lengthy absence (not counting last year’s Survivor Series).
WrestleMania XXVIII was anticipated for an entire year thanks to the The Rock announcing at last year’s WrestleMania that he would actually compete against fan favorite John Cena.
The match didn’t disappoint.
WrestleMania as a whole had it share of intriguing moments. Here is a recap of what went down complete with smart-ass comments when appropriate.
Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan
Sheamus, fresh off a victory at the Royal Rumble, took the World Heavyweight Championship from Daniel Bryan.
Bryan took some time to smooch with his girlfriend, AJ, who was on the ring apron. Sheamus took advantage of this distraction, smacking Bryan with a Brogue Kick for the win.
The match was less than 30 seconds and reminded me of the Hart Foundation’s win over the Bolsheviks at WrestleMania VI.
Weak match for a weak champion. To the casual observer, Bryan has no business holding on to the strap. No appeal, no steroid abuser, no ring presence. Just lame.
Randy Orton vs. Kane
Kane stalks to the ring in a tough-looking mask, some medieval shit.
The match was all right, nothing spectacular. Orton’s sure fallen from grace. After competing in various title matches during the last few years, the Legend Killer has to compete in the second match of the night against freak show Kane.
Kane got the win with a chokeslam off the second rope.
The Rock last competed at WrestleMania XX in 2004. Since then, he has starred in 12 movies and will headline this summer’s “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.” The Rock’s film work after WrestleMania XX:
“Walking Tall” (2004)
“Be Cool” (2005)
“Gridiron Gang” (2006)
“The Game Plan” (2007)
“Get Smart” (2008)
“Race to Witch Mountain” (2009)
“Tooth Fairy” (2010)
“The Other Guys” (2010)
“Fast Five” (2011)
“Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” (2012)
Big Show vs. Cody Rhodes
The son of Dusty vs. the largest athlete in sports entertainment (unless you count the Great Khali).
OK match, Big Show notches the win with a knockout punch that he’s dubbed a weapon of mass destruction.
Beth Phoenix and Eve Torres vs. Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos (yes, that’s right, Maria Menounos from ‘Extra’)
Women wrestler matches aren’t the most technical, but the highlight was Menounos coming out in white pants. You know what they say about women who wear white pants, right?
She had the misfortune of dirtying her pants on right butt cheek. Before the match I asked my buddies what were the chances of her shitting her pants and staining them? Sure enough, the dirty spot was incredibly noticeable.
My friend’s wife not only thought it might have been a shit stain, she suggested maybe Menounos was on her period.
Menounos wasn’t nearly as cut as Phoenix, Torres and Kelly, but she was surprisingly hot. You never see her bare midriff, but she sported her taut stomach, navel piercing and all. Good job, Maria.
Anyway, back to the actual match, the action swayed back and forth with Maria getting the pinfall over the Glamazon (Phoenix).
Undertaker vs. Triple H
These guys beat the fuck out of each other.
This was one brutal bout. Nowhere near as bloody as previous Hell in a Cell matches, but this one took a toll on both wrestlers. I’ve seen matches involving barbed wire, glass, thumbtacks, fire, and they have their share of bumps, just like this Hell in a Cell match.
Undertaker and Triple H took turns beating up on each other, but it appeared that the Undertaker, once again, took the worst of the beating. He won the match, however, the welts and bruises he suffered at the hands of Triple H won’t be going away anytime soon.
This was a classic brawl with near pinfalls by both competitors. Chair shots, the sledgehammer and the ring steps were the weapons of choice in this match.
Special guest referee Shawn Michaels looked conflicted officiating this match. At one point he knocked the Undertaker back with Sweet Chin Music, which Triple H followed up with the Pedigree. I thought the match was finished at this point. Michaels repeatedly pleaded to Triple H to end his chair shots that, in real, life, hurt the Undertaker.
Undertaker won the slugfest after countering Triple H’s sledgehammer lunge with a sledgehammer shot of his own.
The Dead Man improved to 20-0 at WrestleMania, leaving many to believe whether he will finally retire or keep the streak alive at what seems to be his yearly appearance in a wrestling ring.
Team Laurinaitis vs. Team Long
A real clusterfuck of a match, this was a 12-man tag team contest. So many random wrestlers, mascots and hot girls involved.
Team Laurinaitis won, which gave control of RAW and Smackdown to resident douchebag John Laurinaitis. It was a forgettable match.
CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho
Wrestling purists must have loved this WWE title match. It was technically sound contest, Jericho bested Punk for a bit, tried to catch him in the Walls of Jericho. Punk countered, as did Jericho.
Punk retained the strap after locking in the Anaconda Vice.
I simply don’t buy CM Punk as a major star. I’ve heard all of this nonsense about the Reality Era, but this guy isn’t big enough (physically), isn’t flashy enough or charismatic enough to be a Hulk Hogan, Rock, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin or Triple H. If you’re looking at actual wrestling, he’s nowhere near the performer of Bret “the Hitman” Hart, Shawn Michaels, “Macho Man” Randy Savage or Ric Flair.
Hopefully, this CM Punk thing dies down soon.
The Rock vs. John Cena
Surprisingly technical, these wrestling giants delivered one of those incredible numerous near-pinfall matches.
The Rock looked spry, no ring rust whatsoever. Cena worked well with his super-famous counterpart. My friend’s wife marveled at all of our faces every time the Rock or Cena kicked out just before the count of three.
There were shouts. Anticipation. Joy at the end. Cena, who wrestles full time, surprisingly lost to the Rock, who we all know was simply moonlighting as a wrestler. Had this been for a title there’s no way Cena loses, but a one-on-one contest in the Rock’s home state?
This match delivered. The Rock won after countering Cena’s attempt of the People’s Elbow with an emphatic Rock Bottom. The Rock will move on to starring in “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” this summer and make a ton of money.
But it was nice to see the Brahma Bull in action on wrestling’s biggest stage, even if it was for one night. It is doubtful WWE can top WrestleMania XXVIII’s main event, but sports entertainment fans can only hope.