IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... WrestleMania 28
By Al Laiman
Apr 1, 2012 - 11:44:14 PM
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IN LAIMAN'S TERMS: 30 Thoughts... WrestleMania 28
1. I didn't take my laptop with me to the show tonight. With everything I've been feeling up until this event, I wanted to sit back and enjoy this as a fan and nothing else. I had such high hopes going into this event. Some of them were confirmed, others, well... Not so much. I'll do my best to give my Laiman Positivity Spin (c) 2012, but I promise nothing at certain points of this... interesting evening.
2. First of all, I saw someone trolling the comment section on a Lilian Garcia article a few weeks ago. If you listened to that lady belt out "America the Beautiful" and think she is a terrible singer, I want you to get up from your computer, find your toaster, walk upstairs, fill the bathtub, plug the toaster in, and Groundhog Day yourself. I sincerely promise you'll wake up to Sonny and Cher tomorrow, and hopefully you'll be a better person for it. Speaking of trolling comment sections as well, abide by this golden rule when commenting on this site... DON'T BE A DOUCHE! It's really not that difficult. I am a moderator here, and I really have a low tolerance level for stupid bullshit.
3. Okay, so I'm very partial to Lilian Garcia because early in her career, I wrote her an email. I was about 13 years old at the time. In about a week, I received a manilla folder from WWFE, with a personalized autographed 8x10 and a thank you note. My point is, I guess what I'm really trying to say is, I... HATE... SAUERKRAUT! (That is your riddle for this evening! Name the reference. First correct answer wins a Large Ham.)
4. Sheamus and Daniel Bryan were the two stars with the most to prove. Two young wrestlers, pushed off last year's WrestleMania, ready to prove to the world that they deserve to be on the grandest stage of them all in a World Title match. Instead, I think the booking team remembered that the last time they had an outdoor WrestleMania in Florida that Kane and Chavo Guerrero had a title match that lasted for one move, so why not try to do that to open the show! Nothing says "overcoming the odds and proving the world long" like an 18 second World Heavyweight title match. Big Show and Mark Henry could not beat this pesky devil, but Sheamus can beat him in one move! THAT! MAKES! NO! SENSE!
5. However, good for Sheamus. He was pushed to the world title entirely too quickly in his career. He really had to start over and rebuild from the bottom. This should've been his first title run, because he'd been built up slowly for a long time and finally won the championship. Those first two mediocre title reigns are a distant memory now. And, hopefully Daniel Bryan uses his rematch clause soon and we can get an actual damn wrestling match! I wanted to see a stiff-fest, with forearms against chest kicks! JBLDAMMIT!
6. Kane's entrance just doesn't look right in sunny weather. Just saying.
7. Randy Orton vs. Kane was a perfect example of how two veterans maximize the use of their time and make the best of what they've been given. Both were on top of their game, and really surprised me with their in-ring charisma together. That was a good low-card WrestleMania match.
8. Color me crucified, Kane actually went over Randy Orton at WrestleMania. Hey, what can I say, I'm from Cleveland, I'm really not used to seeing people I cheer for actually win when it matters!
9. You'll have to forgive the lack of commentary on most of the backstage segments, but I could not hear much of anything. Same applies for the crowd reactions, which I was really disappointed to miss. A hot crowd can make or break a show, and the only time I could really hear it was the "Boo-YAY!" face-heel punch exchange moments.
10. That being said, while I couldn't hear the dialogue, Santino Marella, Mick Foley, and some guy from Deadliest Catch decided to have a three-way Ham-Off where someone elbow-dropped a crab leg. Yes, I actually had to write the phrase "elbow-dropped a crab leg." That is awesome. And to cap it all off, not only did Ron Simmons do his "What the hell is wrong with you all? If only there was a single four-letter word to summarize just how I am feeling at the awkwardness of this moment!" face, but Santino hammed it up by selling a "DAMN!" exclamation better than Maria whatshername sells broken ribs. You'll have to forgive me, I watch the E! Network about as often as I cruise Hooters waitresses hoping for graduate school advice, so I don't know her name, why she's in the later Divas match, or, most of all, why I should care.
11. I forgot that Cody Rhodes had the Intercontinental title. Cody's been on a roll in the last few months, but I think he's defended that title about as often as people nominate The Sandman vs. The Zombie as the best match of the previous decade. Hi Skitz!
12. We all pretty much knew why this match was made, and that was to give Big Show the WrestleMania version of a Daniel Tosh Web Redemption. I'm very glad the Big Show finally has his WrestleMania moment after being subjected to weeks of tumultuous torture from that emerging main event heel named Cody Rhodes. I expect to see him mixing it up in the World title division very soon, and I hope now that the Intercontinental title is not only defended on a semi-regular basis, but relevant once again.
13. The only thing that could've made me give a damn about the Divas match would be if Kharma showed up and decimated everyone involved. That didn't happen.
14. Fortunately for all of us, something groundbreaking in the Divas division did happen, and we should all be grateful that we were able to bear witness to it. It cast an unbeatable shadow in the face of all that is good and holy in the wrestling world, and shall be forever recognized as the most immortal moment in the history of anything. A Divas match... Are you ready for this?... Ended in a roll-up. I have never seen that happen in my entire life, and these women should be proud to have participated in such a groundbreaking, dare I say, epic conclusion to a technical classic that would make Voldemort/Angle from 2003 cry in defeat... Okay, so I hammed it up a little bit myself, but something had to make that interesting. Finlay, please come back and turn this division into something watchable again.
15. Triple H looked like he came out through a set that was half Conan the Barbarian, half Smaug the Dragon, and I was quite all right with that. However, move over Kevin Nash, The Undertaker is now the Super Shredder! Taker's WrestleMania entrances are always amazing, but that outfit just sealed the level of awesome.
16. Ladies and gentlemen, all of you who watched this WrestleMania match have seen the perfect example of how to tell a story in a professional wrestling match. Yes, it was more drama than action. Yes, it was a slow burn to a conclusion that had me lost in amazement as a student of the industry. Yes, it took a really long time and had a lot of slower moments, but that is not a bad thing. This match was everything it should've been, and with the exception of an awful-looking referee chokeslam, was executed to perfection!
17. This match had me on the edge of my seat, and Shawn Michaels played his role brilliantly. You could feel the legitimate emotion he was portraying throughout the contest. Even when he tried to fix the finish of the match, there was so much tension that it was really an unreal setting. That match was the epitome of what professional wrestling is supposed to be. A lot of people have been spoiled, as if they were expecting to see Triple H try to outdo Foley's fall from the top of the cage, or see a moonsault and a triple 450 reverse double dragon flim flam cardiobuster, but that's not always what wrestling is. Sometimes wrestling is just pure emotion, and what a WrestleMania moment it became.
18. There were several WrestleMania moments at the end of this match. Shawn Michaels reaching down to help up The Undertaker was a really emotional moment. But the biggest one of all was The Undertaker going back to help Triple H to his feet, and the three of them walking out together. That moment right there could've been the end of all three of their careers, and I would have no complaints about it whatsoever. They told every ounce of the story they needed to, and it couldn't have been better. I feel really sorry for you if you didn't appreciate that moment.
19. The Hall of Fame inductees were announced, and it was really great to see Ric Flair on television again. I could tune into TNA, but... No. The main inductee was Edge, and he squirted a tear... A MAN TEAR, JBLDAMMIT, but a tear nonetheless. I was sorry to see the golden locks go, as it makes me like two less professional wrestlers having long hair, with Edge and Taker losing their strands respectively.
20. Did I see Heath Slater on my television at some point? I'm glad he, Tyler Reks, and Curt Hawkins got an appearance paycheck, but Heath tried to ham it up and failed miserably. It's pretty bad when you've been demoted to the point that a rapper punked you out. Hey, don't worry Heath, at least it wasn't Machine Gun Kelly, who really needs to eat a cheeseburger. Kate Moss told him to put on weight.
21. We sat around some really strange people tonight. The girl behind my friend Matt poured salt into her soda and stirred it like a freaking martini. For the most part, it was a tolerable group of individuals with whom to watch a wrestling show, but after ten years of attending shows there, they decided to institute a bunch of rules about minimum tabs and such. That was all right with me, but I have to admit, Kaity's drawing on the rule sheet made me laugh even harder than the grammatical slip.
I really don't even know how to describe that, but I know that it's awesome.
22. In the match of making sure that everyone gets their WrestleMania paychecks, a twelve-man tag took place for control of both of the brands. For the most part, it was a chaotic mess, but there was a really sweet triple rope flip spot. For anyone who has ever even tried to work those ropes in a professional wrestling ring, you can appreciate just how difficult that was to pull off.
23. The result of this match came as a surprise to absolutely no one, as John Laurinaitis won control of both of the shows. I wonder if he'll still call himself the "interim" general manager of both RAW and Smackdown? Oh well, this match served it's purpose of filler between huge match and main events.
24. In an even bigger surprise to only the most idiotic of villagers, Eve turned on Zack Ryder and kicked him right in the You Know Its. Gee, I didn't see that coming at all. It was almost like she betrayed him right to his face before or something. Don't you remember, Zack? Coming back with a vengeance to confront that hussy? Then she smiled at you, you became a giggling doofus, and you Etcha-Sketched your memory. I assume now that she's Trish Stratused you on the biggest stage of them all, you'll fall for it again in about two weeks after cutting a vindication promo against the Chesty LaRue, and the vicious circle will continue until absolutely no one feels any empathy for you whatsoever.
25. Chris Jericho and CM Punk was everything I expected it to be, with a little spice added in by Johhny Ace pre-match. CM Punk was definitely not impressed with the possibility of losing his title via disqualification, and Jericho heeled it up perfectly, trying to goad him into losing his temper. Much like Triple H/Undertaker and Randy Orton/Kane did earlier, the storytelling was top notch in this contest. Anyone who is looking to be a professional wrestler should analyze the psychology of those three matches and learn from them.
26. The top rope counter Codebreaker definitely had to be the move of the match, but Punk screaming "TAP YOU SON OF A BITCH!" was the moment of the match. In terms of wrestling quality, this easily took match of the night, and CM Punk retained his championship in a great contest, as most expected it to be. We now have two face world champions, so I expect something to transpire quite soon. We also have two face midcard champions. The only heel champions are the Divas and the Tag Titles, so by Extreme Rules, I'd expect a title reign or two to end. CM Punk is having a tremendous title reign, so it should be interesting to see where things go from here.
27. Brodus Clay made my freaking night. I don't care that he didn't wrestle. In fact, I'm glad he didn't. Hearing that song, and the Clay Momma and the Bridge Club coming out to dance to that entrance theme I so dearly love was the perfect moment to place a humorous segment. And knowing Becky had to see Brodus Clay at WrestleMania made it even better! Love you sis!
28. I have to say this about the entrances for the main event... You could conceivably go to the kitchen, boil up some soup, fry up some cheese on bread, and have yourself a refreshing meal (Thanks Brian) in the time that it took these entrances to get done. I really couldn't care less about either of these performers, even with Vanilla Ultraskim Latte pandering to me with a Cleveland shirt.
29. If the atmosphere for which I was hoping took place during the Cena/Rock match, I unfortunately could not tell. That was the part of the match to which I was most looking forward. The restaurant was pretty amped up for it too, evenly divided between Rocky and Cena marks. As I wrote in my previous column, I really didn't care who won. However, with that said, the first three-quarters of the match really didn't impress me a whole lot. Maybe our expectations were so high that anything would've been a let-down, but it just seemed to be lacking. I realize Rock/Hogan wasn't a technical classic, but something just didn't seem right with it. Rock going to the top rope really surprised me, and the counter into the F-U was a thing of beauty. That's where the match really started to pick up.
30. The ending of WrestleMania really confused me. The last thing I expected was The Rock to go over cleanly. I realize I made a case for both of them to win, but this method of doing so was a... surprise, to say the least. It leaves us with a lot of questions, which hopefully leads into something for Cena, but the full-time workhorse top name in the WWE just lost to a guy who had his second match in seven years. I really hope they're going somewhere with this. If they just leave it at that, it'll be a damn shame. Overall, I wasn't thrilled with the main event, but three matches really delivered. The comedy segments were sprinkled in well, and the night overall was a lot of fun. Still, the booking of the first and last match really confused me, and I'll have to see where it's going before I make my final judgment call.
DID SOMEONE ORDER A LARGE HAM?
Santino Marella for the second straight Pay-Per-View LARGE HAM! Are you kidding me? For selling Ron Simmons' DAMN like a sniper, and for participating in a Cobra crab attack. The Deadliest Catch guy elbow-dropping a crab leg was a close second, along with Mick Foley talking like a pirate, surely fan service for all the anti-ninja folk in the world.
1-9-12 – R-Truth
1-16-12 - John Laurinaitis
1-23-12 - William Regal
1-29-12 - Ricardo Rodriguez
1-30-12 - R-Truth
2-6-12 - Triple H
2-13-12 - Shawn Michaels
2-19-12 – Santino Marella
2-20-12 - John Cena
2-27-12 – Al Laiman, for thinking no one read this
3-5-12 – John Laurinaitis
3-12-12 - James Roday
3-19-12 - Theodore Long
3-26-12 - Booker T
4-1-12 - Santino Marella