Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ramblemania 25

Since it's been about a week since last week's Wrestlemania both enlightened and disappointed us with a span of four hours, I figured that I'd post my thoughts from the Bite commentary currently in development. This was written the night after, by the way, so opinions now may vary.

Here's a bit of pointless trivia for you: The actual 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania is NEXT YEAR. This year's rendition is actually the 25th edition of the flagship wrestling event. But don't tell anybody that; they might get confused by the whole deal, given the company's hype and hardline push to convince you otherwise.

My first mania was No. 14; a show that signaled the beginning of what is known referred to as the "Attitude Era". For the most part, it wasn't necessarily a great show, but it must have been good enough to keep my interest. In a few short months, I got hooked on the stuff. Some would say obsessed.

It's been ten years since I've started watching this stuff and despite the less-than-stellar product that's currently on the air, I still enjoy watching the shows and following the action through the online sites which post show results. I keep up with most of the news on certain wrestling sites and I buy some of the DVD sets and video games. So my interest in the product in general hasn't waned much at all.

It is no secret that, to most longtime fans, recent editions of Wrestlemania have waned in both quality and importance. While most longtime fans could remember the glory days of a Hogan vs. Andre or even a Rock vs. Austin, the only magical match-ups current fans could remember are epic classics such as... Battle of the Billionaires, Big Show vs. Mayweather, and the Miss Wrestlemania battle royal. Clearly... crap better suited for an indy show and not that of a show deemed to be the grandest stage of all.

Despite the overall lackluster card on paper, I made it an effort to try and get some 'Mania related stuff ready before the big day comes. Obviously, people will note that I had announced some stuff to be posted on the Blog (and maybe even the Webstation) regarding the event. This would have included a revised Ramblemania, a couple video game reviews (featuring Wrestlemania-titled games) and perhaps even a video commentary. Alas, none of that stuff ever made it past the outlining stage. The old version of Ramblemania is still up and outside of a mention on March 31st, no 'Mania-related blogs were posted.

Perhaps the card got to me more than I realized... or maybe I was busy with other stuff.

My cousin had found a bar downtown where they were going to show the PPV. I was a bit hesitant to such a notion because I would have. Then I remembered the main matches and thought, "Not worth the money." So I joined him at the bar, watching the pre-show hockey game between Florida and some other team. Then the show started and... I thought it was okay. Not a big, major show... and certainly not one worthy of Wrestlemania, but a good show nonetheless... if it were called WWE In Your House.

I don't normally do this, but I'll give you some quick thoughts I had on the various matches.

Money In The Bank: CM Punk wins the match, becoming the first person to do so two years in a row (Edge doesn't count). For the most part, it was a fairly decent match, but the ending was such a downer for most people, as they were expecting (some would say hoping) that the returning Christian (Cage) would win it, making his comeback worth it. But hey, CM Punk winning it is not so bad either, so good show.

This is followed by a Kid Rock concert that lasts damn near twenty minutes. Most people were disappointed that AC/DC didn't show. Oh well...

Miss Wrestlemania Battle Royal a.k.a. Piss Break a.k.a. Who Gives A Shit Match. Need not say more than that.

And on a side note, WWE has no business being upset at Trish Stratus refusing to show up at 'Mania for this shit... nor do they have any business being upset at Amy "Lita" Dumas or Wendi Richter for also not showing up. If anything, the three former Women's Champions showed that they actually have common sense and decided not to take a big payday for a throwaway match... in which they're not even introduced. I feel bad for the former Divas that did show up and didn't get so much as a mention on air.
And no... not even Santino's win makes up for this pig shit. Again... NEXT.

Chris Jericho defeats the Legends. Superfly was worthless, don't get me started on Piper, but that Steamboat kid could really move for a guy his age. I reckon a World title is in his future. To be completely honest, I was shocked by this one. Nice effort, even though I could have done without the Rourke crap that followed, but whatever. This was a true surprise in a series of non-efforts. Not a fantastic match, but certainly better than what most of the old fogies could perform.

Matt Hardy beat Jeff Hardy. Usual EXTREME garbage. Next.

Rey Mysterio defeat John Bradshaw Layfield in a short match to win the IC title. JBL then quits. The only thing I'll say about this one is at least the IC title is defended at Wrestlemania for once instead of being a showpiece for some chump in a ladder match. As far as JBL quitting goes, it looks legit, as it was announced that he would be doing commentary for an upstart MMA promotion. To Mr. Layfield, I say good luck and thanks for the memories... good and bad.

Undertaker beats Shawn Michaels to retain his silly little streak. This was a damn-near incredible match... and weird as it may seem, the right man won this fight. Cousin calls the brawl between two giant egos... and that's pretty much the best way to sum up this match. But man, what an awesome match that was. This match had two guys going at it, all kinds of stops were pulled, and ultimately was a truly fulfilling and gut-wrenching match between two longtime veterans who have no business being that good. Clearly this was the true main event, the match of the night, and the only one worth giving a damn about.

Unfortunately, HBK didn't live up to his name and stopped the show. I kinda wished he had, to be honest, because what followed failed to live up to expectations.

John Cena beat Big Show and Edge to win the World Title. The triple-threat match, for the most part, was alright. It wasn't anything special, it wasn't a great match compared to the awesome match proceeding it, but in the end, it was a solid match that, for the most part, kept me awake. Cena winning didn't dampen my mood - shocking, I know - and was actually the best way they could end this. A good effort by all, no complaints whatsoever.

They follow up that match with the Hall of Fame inductees... which is promptly followed by a Stone Cold beer bash - complete with old-school Austin 3:16 shirt. Unfortunately, it didn't end there.

Triple H beat Randy Orton to retain the WWE Title. This match sucked. Not just in a horrible manner, but it sucked any enjoyment that I might have had for the show. It sucked out any goodwill for this show. It just sucked. A mediocre main event featuring two guys who have already fought and an end result that even a blind man could see coming. I-I was yawning all throughout the match... maybe it was because I was tired, but holy crap, was I bored.

Anyone who honestly believed that this was a match worthy of main-eventing the 25th Wrestlemania - an event that they put much unnecessary hype into it considering the actual 25th anniversary of Wrestlemania is NEXT year - must be smoking some of the good stuff, because from what I've seen, this barely qualifies as the opening match to a backyard wrestling promotion. While they were trying for an "old-school" feel, the end result was just appallingly bad and barely matches up with the best of the Brooklyn Brawler classics. It just sucked.

It sucked so much ass that I felt the only positive way the match could have ended on a high-note was if Stone Cold came back out, gave everyone involved a Stone Cold Stunner, and had a few more beers for old time's sake. Alas, it was not to be.
There was the usual post-show recap montage, but we didn't stick around to see it. That's how bad the main event was.

The end result is that... yeah, it was a fairly decent show with only one match worth watching, but it fails utterly to live up to the immense hype and mystique of a Wrestlemania card. Most certainly, this was not worth the sixty dollars they're asking for. My best bet would be to wait for the DVD to come out and rent it to see if the show will be worth it. Don't bother with the replay.

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