WrestleMania 28 didn't live up to hype, but The Rock vs. John Cena did

April 01, 2012|By Adam Testa

On paper, Sunday night's WrestleMania looked as if it could be one of the strongest installments in the event's 28-year history.

In execution, it was anything but. I personally avoided Twitter and Facebook, so that the thoughts I would be sharing here would be as purely mine as much as possible.

The show lacked the feel of WrestleMania; the first hour felt rushed and most of the matches seemed to be missing something. The show wasn't bad by any means, so I don't want people to misread what I am saying, but I expected more.

There will surely be people raving about each and every match on the show, and I won't argue personal opinions with anyone, but in my eyes, WrestleMania fell short of the mark. Maybe the bar had been set too high in my eyes.

But two new champions were crowned, the main event lived up to the hype and had a shocking result and there are plenty of questions and unknowns moving forward.

To me, this year's WrestleMania did more to set up intrigue and wonder for what comes next than it did cap off the past year worth of build.

Here is a match-by-match breakdown of the show, written as the pay-per-view progressed.

World Heavyweight Championship

Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus

Seeing this match open the show wasn't surprising. Seeing it last less than five seconds was.

Every WrestleMania has that token match that ends with one signature move, but having that happen in a world title match and the show opener was not a good way to start off the show.

After my interview with Sheamus, this was one of my most anticipated matches for the show. These two had something to prove after being bumped from last year's event, but this match did nothing to accomplish that.

Sheamus winning was inevitable and acceptable, but did it really need to come at this much of Bryan's expense?

The crowd, which was filled with signs supporting Bryan, was vocal with its displeasure, chanting "Daniel Bryan" throughout the next match.

Randy Orton vs. Kane

With the result of the second match, it had become clear WWE wanted to create the image that anything can happen at WrestleMania.

Kane defeated Randy Orton cleanly, which very few -- if any -- people predicted. This feud now seems destined to continue at Extreme Rules later this month.

As for the match itself, it was a decent contest and about what you would expect from these two. The focus of the match was on their brawling style, and Kane hit two chokeslams, one from the second rope.

I had expected more false finishes, at least one from an Orton RKO, so I was a little shocked when Orton failed to kick out at the finish.

Intercontinental Championship

Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show

Big Show finally earned his WrestleMania moment, winning the Intercontinental Championship in a good but short match.

The Intercontinental title was Big Show's final active title to add to his resume, so this gesture of good will works in that regard. Now Big Show has accomplished all he could do.

Rhodes was allowed to keep the match competitive, which was good for his progression. It will be interesting to see if Rhodes moves up the card and who Big Show will feud with.

After three matches, though, this show felt as if it was lacking the WrestleMania feel. The three matches preceding matches wouldn't have seemed out of place on any given episode of Raw or Smackdown.

Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix and Eve

The WrestleMania tradition of celebrities winning continued, as Menounos pinned Divas Champion Phoenix to score the win for her team.

The match honestly wasn't bad for a divas match, and Menounos played her role well. I defended her appearance on the show based on her being a fan of the product and having past history with Phoenix, so it was nice to see her fit in well.

Kelly also had the move of the show to this point with her somersault flip off the top rope onto Phoenix.

It was also a little odd to see the heel team come out to Eve's music, when Phoenix is the champion. 

But perhaps the most baffling part of the whole ordeal was that less than one hour into a four-hour show, four out of eight matches for the show were completed. I'm all for the big matches getting ample time, but the pacing of the show at this point seemed a little rushed.

Hell in a Cell

Triple H vs. The Undertaker with Shawn Michaels as guest referee

Anyone who has followed Ring Posts for the past few months knows I was not excited for this match. The end result didn't do anything to change my perception.

Did they put on a good match? Most definitely. Was it an epic encounter that will be remembered 10 years from now? Probably not.

First, the Hell in a Cell stipulation was unnecessary, as it hardly came into play during the match. The same end result could have been accomplished with a falls-count-anywhere match.

Second, Michaels as referee added a lot to the story of the match, but in my opinion, it came too early. Undertaker locked Michaels in Hell's Gate; Michaels superkicked Undertaker, allowing Triple H a nearfall.

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