Every year the World Wrestling Entertainment better known as the WWE holds an event that can be compared to the Academy Awards, the Superbowl or the NBA Finals. The media buzz for Wrestlemania is comparable to the buzz that surrounds every major sporting event in the World, well at least that’s how the WWE feels like telling its fans.
This year’s Wretlemania was held in this year in East Rutherford, New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium (home of the New York Jets and New York Giants) where more than 80,000 strong jampacked the said arena to witness Wrestlemania 29 on April 7, 2012. Before the show started a Wrestlemania Pre-Show was held, and a match between Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett and The MIz was held, where in MIz captured the WWE Intercontinental Championship via Figure 4 Leg Lock.
The actual show opened up with a video package of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and how the people in NY and NJ area helped each other to get back on their feet. Then we saw the NJ National Guard as Michael Cole told us they were instrumental in helping the people during the aftermath.
Opening Match: The Big Show, Sheamus and Randy Orton versus The Shield (RomanReigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins)
The show opened up with 3 Wrestlemania veterans and former World Champions against the young upstarts the Shield, while the match featured a typical 3 on 3 match, it has some highlights like Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose getting their vests removed as Sheamus and Big Show pounded on them mercilessly. The ending came when Randy Orton tagged himself in, instead of Sheamus giving the hot tag to the Big Show.. Randy Orton cleaned house and eventually the numbers caught up and Shield won by pinfall as Big Show didn’t break the 3 count as he stood in the corner watching it all happened.. Big Show knocked both Orton and Sheamus before leaving the ring.. Very good opening bout 7/10.. The Shield go their Mania moment.
Match 2: Mark Henry versus Ryback
Making his WrestleMania debut Ryback came into the ring with a lot to prove, he wants to prove the people that he can be the next best face in the WWE. The former Skip Sheffield entered the ring against WWE veteran Mark Henry. The match was your typical strongman versus strongman match. Henry dominated about 55% of it before Ryback came charging back, while egging the crowd to chant Feed Me More (which the raucous Jersey crowd reciprocated). The end came when Ryback attempted to finish the match with a Shell Shock but Henry held on the ropes as the whole 450+ frame of Mark Henry landed on Ryback for the victory. Passable match 6/10
After the match Henry came back to the ring to make sure that Ryback will be inducted to the Hall of Pain. But Ryback got his 2nd win and eventually hit the Shell Shock to foil Henry’s plan and for Ryback to have his Wrestlemania moment.
The WWE honored the US Special Olympic Team – David Denan(hoping that I got the spelling right) and Ashely Webber (with perhaps Stephanie McMahon, the US Olympic Commitee and NJ Governor Chris Christie), and got a decent pop from the crowd.
Match 3: For the WWE Tag Team Championship, Team Hell No (C) versus Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston (with AJ Lee)
The match kicked off with Dolph mocking Daniel Bryan’s 18 second Wrestlemaina 28 debacle against Sheamus (when Bryan gave then girlfriend AJ Lee a kiss before their World Heavyweight Championship match, then Sheamus Brogue Kicked him to win the title). This time Bryan came inches away from ending the match after a high kick was landed on Dolph’s kisser, the match was high paced not your typical tag team match, Big E Langston was impressive overpowering Kane and manhandling Daniel Bryan. In the end Bryan and Kane came away with a pinfall victory after a flying headbutt from Bryan. Daniel Bryan had his Mania moment as the crowd cheered for him in unison with a resounding YES chants. 7.5/10
Match 4: Fandango versus Chris Jericho
Fandango or should I say FFFFFffffffffAAAAAAAaaaaaaaNNnnnDddAAAAAAAaaaaaaaNNNnnnnGGGggggOoooooo knows how to enter in style.
Reminiscent of MVP’s entrance in Wrestlemania 23, Fandango entered into the squared circle in style, WrestleMania style. That on the other hand Chris Jericho countered with his own entrance.
Fandango, on his first televised match in the WWE went up against WWE veteran Chris Jericho, dubbed by JBL as Mike Tyson versus Buster Douglas, if Buster didn’t box at all. Jericho schooled Fandango for the majority of the match, while Fandango had his own moments as well, especially when Fandango hit him with a flying leg drop from the top rope. The match came to an end when Jericho injured his knee and Fandango capitalized with a roll-up. Fandango’s first match was a hug success, as Jericho put him over, the only way Jericho can. 8/10
Bathroom break and dinner time Puff Daddy sings, borefest!
Match 5: For the World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio (C) (with Ricardo Rodriguez) versus Jack Swagger (with Zeb Colter)
Jack Swagger entered the ring riding an camouflaged ATV with an American Flag on it called the Patriot Mobile (he entered while the video package of Del Rio and Swagger rivalry).
Colter then proceeded to cut a promo regarding the immigrants of the NY/NJ area that got a few boos from the MetLife Stadium crowd. Del Rio then makes his entrance with a special introduction from Ricardo Rodriguez.
The match was a huge huge treat to the raucous crowd in MetLife as they were treated in a very entertaining match, Del Rio in my opinion is ready to to be part of the big guns of the WWE, his charisma and ability can captivate the crowd. The match went back and forth, a little gritty but not as gritty as the Triple H Brock Lesnar match later that night. In the end Del Rio retained the World Heavyweight Championship by making Jack Swagger tap out by the cross arm breaker. 7.25/10
And Michael Strahan former New York Giant player and legend enjoyed the bout as well.
Match 6: The Undertaker versus CM Punk (with Paul Heyman)
CM Punk is currently using the early 90’s classic Cult of Personality by Living Colour, Living Colour then played it live in front of the crowd in MetLife, CM Punk entered the arena and pointed at the band before his Mania match with Taker. With that I would like to say that than you God, you washed the Puff Daddy suckfest out of our minds with a very good performance by Living Colour. Thank you!
Again, THANK YOU LORD!
Undertaker entered in what looked like Hades rising from the underworld, it was awesome watching it, I wonder how great it is live. Anyway with CM Punk disrespecting the the late Paul Bearer (former manager of the Undertaker) and stealing the urn (the source of the Undertaker’s “powers”), Undertaker puts his undefeated Mania record on the line against CM Punk, perhaps the best in ring performer in the WWE today. The match itself was awesome, filled with high energy moves, memorable reversals, near falls after near falls to the point that I was actually clapping my hands, it’s really great to be a WWE/wrestling fan come Mania season, thank you Undertaker and CM Punk. In the end Undertaker wins after a tombstone piledriver and honored his fallen friend and confidant.
Classic Undertaker ring exit. Match grade 9/10
Match 7: Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman) versus Triple H (Shawn Michaels): Career Threatening Match
Shawn Michaels made his way to the ring first to be with his friend Triple H for the following bout. This is his first appearance since Wrestlemania 26 and his first apperance as a manager.
This match for me was a disappointment , I was expecting a knockout drag out fight between the former WWE and UFC Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar and Triple H, a match than can exceed what they accomplished in SummerSlam 2012 but all I got was a photocopy with different result. Of course this one is a bit more physical, but still had a slow paced, Triple H trying to have a huge surge while Lesnar toys with him type of match. Not that it wasn’t good but, it was more of a let down for me. Triple H wins via Pedigree. Shawn also had his moments as he superkicked Heyman’s head off.. 7.5/10
Class of 2013 Hall of Fame introduced to the crowd led by Bruno Sammartino, Trish Stratus, Booker T, Mick Foley, Donald Trump, and Bob Backlund.
Main Event: For the WWE Championship – The Rock (C) versus John Cena II
This match is about a notch better than their Wrestlemania 28 encounter, though the difference is they traded more finishers more near falls in this match. The Once in a lifetime tag from last year didn’t come true as the Rock and John Cena faced each other again, because The Rock’s GI Joe Retaliation move got pushed a year, instead of its 2012 release hence his appearance for another go around with Mania is to re-promote the Joe film. So anyway going back, they did some usual stuff they do, punches, kicks, signature maneuvers etc. until Cena hit the final Attitude Adjustment for the 3 count. Cena recaptures the WWE title.
At the end of the match Cena and The Rock shook hands and hugged.
Cena even left the ring for the Rock to have his final salute to the crowd and so that the crowd can applaud him as well.
And the show ends with 2 men raising each other’s hand.
My overall grade for Wrestlemania 29 is a solid 7.5/10, while my only complaint is the Jericho-Fandango match could have gone at least 2 or 3 minutes to really sell the leg injury that Jericho had, other complaint is the photocopy Summerslam match between Triple H and Lesnar, because I felt they could have done it better. And my ultimate complaint Puff Daddy, Sean Diddy Combs or whatever his name is, it really doesn’t matter, Puff Daddy’s performance is an absolute snoozer. Overall memorable show.