Thursday, March 21, 2024

Ramblemania Rewind 28 - WWE Wrestlemania XXVIII (2012)

Date: April 1st, 2012
Venue: Sun-Life Stadium, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 78,363


Fuck me, I can't even use that joke, either, can I?

Yeah, so long story short. Wrestlemania 28 is a better show than Wrestlemania 27, but not one that I would call an all-time classic or one of the better Manias, even. And hey, Rock beating Cena to kick off what would eventually be dubbed "John Cena's Worst Year Ever" or something... yeah, let's get into it.

Sheamus defeated World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan Danielson with a Brogue Kick to win the World Title in what I believe was close to fifteen seconds... because you know, Bryan is SMALL while Sheamus is BIG! And the BIG GUY beating the LITTLE GUY in five seconds or whatever will make everyone love him... except people ended up being sympathetic to Bryan, even though he was a heel at the time. And Sheamus would end up being the guy nobody gave a shit about, which is a bit unfair to Sheamus because this match wasn't his idea. It's just the result of really, really shitty creative from an out-of-touch old man who thought this would make Sheamus into a beloved hero, when in reality, it had the OPPOSITE effect.

But here's the thing - Daniel Bryan got the quick loss here, but he eventually recovered and got a Wrestlemania main event that saw him win the title (and getting there is another story that we'll revisit one of these days.) Compare this to, say, Brock Lesnar's nine-second demolition of Kofi Kingston in 2018 for the WWE Championship. Kofimania was a thing and then it was killed off not because of that loss, but because there was no follow-up and nobody cared enough to give Kofi that spark in the main event scene. Then again, Daniel Bryan at least tried to have a good run with the title before he eventually got injured, while Kofi was just the guy tossing pancakes out of his junk and oh, by the way, this guy was your reigning, defending WWE World Heavyweight Champion... I feel like I should be saving this particular discussion for when we hit the Kofi title win down the road, but it just goes to show that just because you have a bad match with a bad finish and a bad result doesn't mean it's a lost cause. What comes after can often salvage a shitty situation... and that was pretty much the case for Bryan.

Kane defeated Randy Orton in a perfectly acceptable wrestling match. Nothing special about this one. It was a match, it was fine, and I didn't fall asleep.

Big Show defeated Cody Rhodes to win the Intercontinental title. Good for Show on winning a championship that he never held before... certainly nice to see him have a worthwhile Mania moment, but I honestly didn't care for the match and basically didn't pay too much attention.

Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos defeated Beth Phoenix & Eve. I didn't watch this match the first time around because it was the designated piss break. Now that I have watched the match... well, let's just say that there's a reason this was considered the designated piss break. At least the women got paid.

Undertaker defeated HHH in a Hell In A Cell match with Shawn Michaels as the special referee. I wasn't a fan of their Mania 27 match and this was... well, it was more of that, except now there's a cage around it. More plodding, more dragging, more bad acting and even Shawn got in on the act... this match was so dull that I actually FELL ASLEEP! AGAIN! It's been TWELVE YEARS since I last saw this match and it's still putting me to fucking sleep. This match may have further exasperated my sleeping issues. That's how bad it is. And people have the fucking temarity to call this a Match Of The Year candidate or even the best match on the show? ARE YOU PEOPLE FUCKING HIGH? This fucking boring-ass, slow-as-shit match with an ending so obvious even [insert famous blind person] could see it coming.

Dude, this match was a fucking waste of Hell In A Cell. You didn't need the Cell for this. It added nothing. Even Shawn - who was put in to sort of cast doubt on whether Taker could overcome the odds and maintain the streak - added NOTHING to the match. Even back in the day, there was never any doubt in my mind that Taker was winning the match. I never bought HHH as a credible threat to the streak. And watching this years later, this was DULL AS FUCK. And I still fell asleep watching this shit.

Yeah, fuck this match. And fuck the people who praised this match to the high heavens. This match fucking blows. And if this were the end of that story, that'd be one thing... but then they'd have another match SIX YEARS LATER that's even WORSE! Not even Shawn Michaels coming out of retirement could salvage this shit. IT'S JUST SO FUCKING BAD!

Team Johnny (The Miz, Mark Henry, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, David Otunga - representing RAW Interim GM Johnny Ace... yeah, that's another one) defeated Team Teddy (Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Zack Ryder, Booker T, Santino representing Smackdown GM Teddy Long) in a 12-GEEK Tag Team Match Playa... and yes, with everyone wearing colored T-shirts with the face of that brand's GM plastered front and center, damn straight these poor fuckers are GEEKS by association. The finish comes when Eve - who was "dating" Zack Ryder before he got crippled by Kane and decided to hook up with John Cena... yes, I actually remember this shit) kicked poor the Broski in the Ballskis, allowing him to be pinned by Miz, who went from being in the main event of Wrestlemania to be one of the twelve GEEKS in this complete and utter waste of time that saw Teddy Long out of a job and Johnny Ace as the universal General Manager of both brands or some stupid shit like that. Recent developments aside, I'm not going to be looking forward to revisiting the 2012 WWE PPVs if we ever get to that point and I sincerely hope that isn't any time soon.

WWE Champion CM Punk defeated Chris Jericho via submission to retain the title in what I thought was a pretty good match. Sure, it started off slow at first, but it eventually picked up the pace and things started getting good. I'd go so far to call this the best match on the show... yes, this is better than your precious Taker/HHH match, which, I will stress once again, PUT ME THE FUCK TO SLEEP! And this didn't... so this wins... Fuck off.

Out comes Brodus Clay and a bunch of people dressed up as his mama, which is supposed to be entertaining or something. I bring this up because this is Brodus' second (and final) Wrestlemania appearance, with his first being as a heavy for Alberto Del Rio. He was supposed to have a match at Mania 29, but it was cut. So this guy had two Mania appearances under his belt and never had a match. And yet a little over a decade later, this man would be your reigning NWA World's Heavyweight Champion. Somewhere along the way, Billy Corgan saw this large man dance around a bunch of people dressed like his mana and decided "One day, I'm going to buy a once-notable wrestling promotion and I'm going to make this man my World's Champion."

Yeah, I just wanted to point that out for no reason whatsoever... because if WWE can waste time with pointless shit, then so can I. But at least I'm not charging you for this padding.

And in the main event, The Rock defeated John Cena in a finish that saw John Cena try to mockingly do a People's Elbow, only for Rock to spring up and Rock Bottom Cena out of his misery to score the pin and kick off John Cena's "Worst Year Ever" or whatever the hype package for next year's Wrestlemania was... I had called this a so-so match when I first watched it back in the day and I think part of that had to due with not being terribly excited for this match when it was happening. I recall the build-up being lackluster in spite of some good stuff every so often and when the match happened, I was kinda, sorta "meh" on the whole. Rewatching it again a decade plus after the fact, this match was better than I gave it credit for. Rock was notably tired throughout the match, but he held his own for the most part and John Cena did his part to make this match somewhat compelling. Hey, you know what? Credit where it's due; this match was alright and the crowd was into it. That's a thumbs up in my book.

The Rock defeated John Cena in a so-so match. Nothing spectacular and nothing terrible, but certainly not worth a year's wait. If nothing else, the match actually made me care slightly about this feud and got me interested, which is something that a year's worth of promos, Twitter wars, and whatnots didn't do... so in that regard, it scores some points. But perhaps more than anything, this was a match that really could have gone either way, had that level of genuine unpredictably, and told a story being two guys who really needed to win to validate their side of the feud, so I was kinda pleased to see Rocky win it. This was slightly better than the HHH/Taker snorefest in that I wasn't falling asleep during this one... although I groaned every time Cena did a bearhug, which was more often than I cared for. And the introductions were a bit... meh.

Punk/Jericho and Rock/Cena were the highlights of this show and that makes it a far better show than Mania 27... but that's towards the end of the show and getting to that point was a bit of a sloth. The early matches were dull, the geek tag match was a joke, and then there was the overrated Age In The Cage II that put me to sleep. Yeah... so I've said my piece. The last part of this show was fine, the rest can go fly a kite.

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