Last night, the WWE held their annual pay-per-view spectacular show known as Wrestlemania.
I decided to order the show and invite some friends over. This was a change of pace from recent years when I’d either go to a friend’s house or watch on a
pirated COMPLETELY LEGAL internet feed.
I definitely prefer the company of others. Watching wrestling while surrounded by friends can be quite a lot of fun. In contrast, watching by myself on the computer conjures up images of the “It’s still real to me!” guy.
Most of the guests were either non-fans or casual fans, which meant that there was some (mostly deserved) mockery of the happenings, and a lot of questions about why these guys were fighting, and why some of the wrestlers would wear a particular outfit.
There were some interesting comments along the way.
- “Why are you drinking a 40?” “Because I’m watching wrestling.”
- “You paid $70 for this?” “Don’t judge.”
- “So an American is wrestling a Mexican, and we’re supposed to cheer for the Mexican?”
- “Well he looks like a very nice boy.”
- “You know what I’ll miss most when I retire? Wearing eyeliner.”
- “That guy’s kinda fat.”
- “Hey, it’s Living Colour! Wait, they’re black?”
- “The one guy is supposed to be flamboyant, but the other guy has purple sequins on his shorts.”
- “I don’t think I’d feel comfortable with my ass hanging out like that.”
- “What is that tattoo on his chest? It looks like a penis.”
- “Do they ever get erections while wrestling?”
Sadly, this last one led to a lengthy discussion of the matter, complete with some investigation of websites that specialize in such things.
Ladies and gentlemen…the internet!
The main event of last night’s show featured the company’s current top star John Cena taking on former top star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for the WWE Championship.
This match was essentially two years in the making. At Wrestlemania 27, the Rock returned to the WWE to serve as the “special host.” Leading up to the match, he got into some verbal confrontations with Cena, and ended up interfering in the WWE Championship match, costing Cena the victory.
Last year, the Rock returned to in-ring action, and faced Cena in a match at Wrestlemania 28.
That match was billed as a “Once in a lifetime” matchup (Considering they likely had a rematch in mind, maybe they shouldn’t have advertised it as such) of two of wrestling’s greatest icons. They clearly hoped it would be a memorable spectacle along the lines of Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III or Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania 18.
The match wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t especially memorable like those two aforementioned “icon vs. icon” matches had been. It felt like the two men tried too hard to have an epic match.
It’s hard to explain what that means, but it seemed like they were trying to make a magical moment happen, rather than just having the match and letting the magic come naturally.
Last night’s match was a step below last year’s. The match just seemed too “busy” and once again, it felt like they were trying to make it live up to the hype.
In the end, Cena won, and now Rock can go back to making movies. I’m sure he’ll be back the next time he has a movie he wants to promote. He hasn’t ruled out appearing at next year’s Wrestlemania. (Which will likely be just in time to promote Fast and Furious 7!)
As for the overall show, it was nothing special. None of the matches were horrible, but there weren’t any real standouts either. The best match was The Undertaker facing CM Punk which seemed to captivate even the casual fans. This was likely because they recognized The Undertaker from their youth and were amazed he could still even walk.
While I don’t regret watching it, it certainly won’t rank among the best Wrestlemanias of all time.
Speaking of that, I will conclude by listing my Top Five Favorite Wrestlemanias
Keep in mind, I’ve only been watching wrestling since 1999, so while I’ve since seen some of the older shows, it’s hard for me to properly rate them. So this is really, my top five favorites since 2000.
5. WM 26 – A good all-around show that was highlighted by Shawn Michaels’ retirement match against the Undertaker.
4. WM 17 – Many consider this to be the greatest wrestling show ever. While I liked it, I felt that people have overrated it a bit.
3. WM 23 – This event drew a lot of attention for the hair vs. hair match involving Vince McMahon and Donald Trump
2. WM 21 – A very good show in which they actually seemed to try to make new stars.
1. WM 19 – Most people aren’t that fond of this show, but I really enjoyed it. Great main event and a surprise appearance by Rowdy Roddy Piper!