Jobber Knocker

Nestlemania’s Wrestlemania 27 Review: The Crock Returns

On April 3rd, 2011 in the Georgia Dome, The Rock returned home to a capacity crowd of 71,617. This entire night is about The Rock. He comes out and the crowd is on their feet.  After about a 4-minute entrance by Dwayne, The Rock does something uncharacteristic. He does the generic “I say wrestle. “You say mania.” WTF? “I say yabba. You say dabba.” as he makes fun of Cena. Yup. It’s a thing. After a long lyric rhyme by the peoples’ champ, he ends with smell what The Rock is cooking. Thank god. That was a bunch of hot sweaty garbage.

The first match of the night sees World Heavyweight Champion Edge w/ Christian retain over Alberto Del Rio w/ Brodus Clay and Ricardo Rodriguez in 11:09. This would be Edge’s last televised match with WWE. He would retire the next week on RAW. You got to wonder if he knew this was the end or not. That would be truly heartbreaking. Josh Matthews is calling the action with Michael Cole and King who have a match later in the night. This match was decent overall. I enjoyed watching Del Rio trying to work the arm and Edge fighting from underneath the whole match. There’s a lot of outside interference/brawling from Christian and Brodus Clay. The match ended with a flurry of back and forth reversals and Edge hits a spear. (Grade: C+)

After the match, Edge destroys the Rolls-Royce Del Rio came out in, kind of fun. It’s at this point that I am reminded that Michael Cole being a heel is great but also a fucking curse. Cole and Lawler keeping sparing verbally in between matches and during matches. It really takes away from the actual specialness of Wrestlemania. Advice! Watch most of this one on mute.

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Next is a hidden gem of Wrestlemania. Cody Rhodes beats Rey Mysterio in 11:58. I love, love ,love Cody Rhodes’ disfigured mask gimmick. This was some of his best work in WWE. Mysterio comes out dressed as Captain America which is something to look forward to. Mysterio’s costumes are always a site to see.

The backstory to this match is great. Mysterio broke Cody’s nose with a 619, Cody must wear this mask but thinks his dashing good looks are gone. He is ugly and grotesque in his own mind. This match was a great athletic contest with great storytelling. The mask was deemed legal and clearly going to be used. Cody would go after the knee, Mysterio the face. The knee brace would come off, so would the mask, 619 to the face, and Cody kicks out. Rey eventually uses the mask on Cody and it’s still not enough. Ref gets the mask from Rey as he’s putting it away, Cody blasts Mysterio with the Knee brace for the win. A wonderful match! Go check it out. Very underrated! (Grade: B+)

Snoop Dogg has a segment with Teddy Long looking for talent. Regal raps. Khali and Beth Phoenix do Grease. Ryder is getting down on Friday and Roddy Piper hits him with a Coconut. Finally, Hornswoggle wants to rap. Teddy say he can’t talk so they leave. Swoggle than raps his heart out, with the Bella Twins doing the most UNSEXY dance you will ever see on WWE TV. AWFUL.

Our next contest was quick and useless. If you went to the bathroom during this, you were sure to miss all of it. Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella defeated the Corre in 1:32. That’s right the Corre! I forgot these guys existed, and for good reason. I’m not going to even get into this one. It’s a disappointment. (Grade: F)

Rock and Eve promo backstage. That’s right, Eve, you remember her? She was fantastic… and she’s not on the card. WTF? This is a travesty. Anyway, The Rock says he’s going to make a moment with the next person he sees. It’s Mae Young! This is the part of The Rock I’m not a fan off. He just makes fun of Mae because she wants him. Granted he does it with class for the lady, but still not a great moment. After Eve takes Mae to her seats, Stone Cold Steve Austin appears. exchange words and have a moment. 1st part, not great. 2nd part, a little better.

We now get to what I believe to be one of the saving graces of Wrestlemania 27. Randy Orton beats CM Punk in 14:46. Again, another match with amazing backstory and psychology. WHO KNEW, RIGHT? Orton’s leg is injured because Punk went after it on RAW. Punk kept it going here. A lot of great leg submissions slows Randy down even more. The end of this match is fantastic. Orton gets his hanging DDT on Punk and starts to rev up for an RKO. Punk does not get up, so Orton decides he’s going to punt his head. As Orton runs towards punk his leg gives out on him. Beautiful stuff here. Punk finally gets up and goes for something, and Orton pops up for an RKO and Punk pushes him out of the way! Punk rolls to the edge of the ring looking relieved. Goes for the Springboard clothesline and eats an RKO. Winner Orton! Wonderful match, Wonderful ending, and a must watch. (Grade A-)

These are the kind of matches that make you a wrestling fan. This is a work of art. If you want to be a wrestler, go back and watch this match.

Another Segment with the Rock airs. This time he’s with Mean Gene. They talk about John Cena’s number one fan who turns out to be Pee Wee Herman. I love Pee Wee, but man is this segment terrible.

Gene comes back dressed in Cena gear. Rock says you really want to look like this Pee Wee? Pee Wee says he looks like a loser – Great way to make Cena look terrible) Gene responds I know you are but what am I. This promo ends with Pee Wee being on Team Bring It and saying if you smell what the Pee is cooking! The Rock is not a good host, he’s an ass kicker.

EVERY. ONE. OF. THESE. SEGMENTS. ANGER. ME.

In theory, the next match shouldn’t have bothered me so much, but it did. Michael Cole w/ Jack Swagger beats Jerry Lawler by DQ in 13:45. Jim Ross and Booker T come out for commentary. Thank God! I’m so done with the bickering between Cole and King. I would put money on this match went WAY TOO LONG and screwed up the rest of the card. My biggest gripe really was that it went on forever. This match could have been 5 to 7 minutes tops and we would have got the whole story. Steve Austin is your special guest ref who almost kills everyone including Swagger with an ATV. At no point in this match is it believable that Cole should have the upper hand no matter how much Swagger interferes. The entire match is Austin having fun and Lawler getting his heat back. The end comes where Cole pokes Austin in the chest, Austin pushes him back and King beats the crap out of him. The final is King putting Cole in the ankle lock. Cole immediately taps out and Austin asks several times if he quits. It’s comedy, sure, but I wanted this thing to be over. At least I thought it was over.

The Beer Celebration with Austin and King starts. Weirdly an uninvited Booker T comes in to celebrate with a Spinarooni and a beer, then gets a stunner for his efforts. More celebration occurs only to have the Anonymous GM to stop the match, and reverse the decision due to Austin being a shitty ref. Josh Matthews, who read that statement on a word document not an email, gets thrown into the ring. BAM! Stunner. Cole wins! (Grade: D+)

Another bright spot for Wrestlemania 27. The Undertaker beats HHH in a No Holds Barred in 29:23.

Note: Funny to watch them re-dub non-Metallica music in for the HHH entrance. Although they did a halfway decent job ripping it off for the network version.

This match is started out as a slugfest. They break Cole’s Cole Mine almost instantly. HHH takes a back body drop off the commentary table… OUCH. There’s a great spot early on as HHH gives Taker a spinebuster through the commentary table. Clearly, both men are making it feel like a war. A chair gets introduced into the match but doesn’t get used right away. HHH hits a Pedigree, Taker kicks out. Taker gives a Last Ride, HHH kicks out. Taker delivers a Tombstone… HHH kicks out. I mean, it’s Mania people! The magical time of the year where it takes at least 3 finishers to close out a match. After 2 more Pedigrees and Taker refusing to give up, HHH goes for the chair and starts using the chair over and over. Taker even takes a shot to the head (although heavily protected). Word is, was they got “fined” for it. Yeahhhh right! The highest point in this match is when The Undertaker keeps fighting even though he can’t really defend himself and HHH delivers a tombstone on Taker. Taker kicks out the crowd goes bananas. HHH gets the sledgehammer but gets caught in the Hell’s gate. HHH tries to use it, but drops it and taps out. Amazing match. Might have been a little too long, and their next match at Wrestlemania 28 was far better. But this was a damn good match. (Grade: A-)

After the match, the story continues as HHH was able to walk out on his own, but Taker needed a stretcher. Setting up next year’s Mania match. Really well done. I wish they took more time to do these kinds of things.

Another bathroom break occurs as John Morrison, Trish Status, and Snooki beat Laycool and Dolph Ziggler w/ Vicki Guerrero in 3:17. You really forget how quick this match is. But besides Trish, there’s no one in this match I care about. I remember the Dirt Sheets saying Morrison put up a stink about Melina not being in the match, and not hugging Trish after. But c’mon John, Melina would have brought nothing to this match. Seriously, how whipped can you be? There’s really nothing that occurs during this thing. Ends with Snooki doing an impressive handspring splash into McTaker. (Grade: F)

I want to take a quick second to tell everyone how awesome this next bit is. Now the greatest WWE video package is said to be Wrestlemania 17’s main event featuring Limp Bizkit’s My Way. It truly is a site to watch repeatedly. It’s amazing. However, this next package might be number two all-time. It’s the Miz watching his career in a control room spliced in with moments in WWE history. It was amazing! Go ahead take a second to watch it because it gets me fired up just thinking about. Hearing Nas’ “You Can Hate Me Now” while seeing the Miz’s rise is great. When the Miz came out you could see how much this moment meant to him and it’s goosebumpy!  After a DMX Lord Jesus package, Cena comes out to an Atlanta Choir singing his theme. Very cool production value here, but the moment Cena comes out, the boos are everywhere! This is John Cena’s 7th Wrestlemania Main Event, I’m sure there’s no correlation.

The Miz w/ Alex Riley defeats John Cena and retains the WWE Championship in 15:21.

The match started off slow, but they did that interntionally! (NO ONE DOES THAT ANYMORE!) Early on, Cena is really wrestling, which is a nice contrast to what we normally get. There’s a bit of miscommunication in this match where the Miz whips Cena into the ropes and The Miz drops down Cena I assume was supposed to go for a shoulder block and it just looked weird. There’s a great little moment that you might miss during this match, but The Miz tries to get the upper hand by pulling off the top turnbuckle, and the ref sees it. He goes to fix it and Cena rolls up Miz and the ref is forced to leave the pad on the ground and go for the cover. While that is going on Alex Riley hits it out of the ring, so it’s gone for good. I really love little details like that. The Miz finds himself in an STFU but gets to the ropes, as the ref checks on him A-Ry grabs Cena and smashes his head into the exposed buckle! Everything has a reason! Cena turns around into a Skull Crushing Finale… kick out at 2! Miz goes to the well again, this time Cena pushes Miz into the ref… REF BUMP! Cena hits the AA, A-RY comes in with a briefcase and hits Cena. Cena kicks out because he’s superman! In a fit of rage, Miz grabs the briefcase to hit Cena. Cena ducks and Miz smashes A-RY with it, turns around AA, Miz kicks out at 2. Crowd loves The Miz and is hating on Cena. I gotta say at this point it’s an anti-Cena crowd… or is a Pro-Miz? Who knows? This battle spills to the outside and Cena and Miz go over the guard rail and smash to the floor. We know now The Miz had a major concussion after this fall. The sound is horrifying, and his face glazed over for the rest of the night.

It’s a count out! Crowd Boos…

The Rock comes out. We get an email from the Anonymous GM. The Rock reads… FROM A PIECE OF PAPER ON THE KEYBOARD, NOT THE SCREEN. This big Hollywood actor forgets how to improv? This kills it for me. No illusion what so ever. The Rock restarts this match as a no DQ match. Both men tumble in and The Rock hits Cena with a Rock Bottom… Miz covers and wins the main event of Wrestlemania 27. I think the saddest part of this main event is that The Miz remembers none of it! Which is a crying shame. This guy works very hard and deserves one more Wrestlemania Main Event! Wrestlemania ends with The Rock hitting all his signatures on The Miz and celebrating. (Grade C-)

Felt like a really long RAW match.

Now, this Wrestlemania isn’t great. In truth, this is a complete love note to The Rock. Everything is built around him, he’s in multiple segments, and he impacts the outcome of the Main Event. I am not a fan of this portion of the PPV, however, matches like Cody and Rey, Punk and Orton, and HHH vs Taker save this Wrestlemania from being one of the worst of all time. So, automatically I’m taking this Wrestlemania out of the running because it’s not good, its not bad, it’s somewhere in the middle. I still feel bad for The Miz, the dude deserves the world.

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