Match 1 – R-Truth & John Morrison Vs The Big Show & The Miz – Unified tag titles on the line in the opener here. How the fuck did Miz go from opening WM to main eventing WM in a year? Guy deserves to be on the pre-show at best. Useless Jiz. Match is short, thankfully, but given the time it gets, it’s a surprisingly good and fun tag contest. I say surprising because everyone bar Show sucks. And Show is definitely the MVP of the match as well, which isn’t a surprise because like I said, everyone else involved in the match sucks lol. Not much else to say really. **.
Match 2 – Ted DiBiase Vs Cody Rhodes Vs Randy Orton – Oh god this looks so dull and generic on paper. Which is exactly how all 3 wrestlers look, and how I could describe their “characters” at the time. Hell none of them have really changed that much. Rhodes had a chance with the mask thing but then they gave him a moustache and assumed that was all he needed. This match is dull as shit. Not surprising though tbh. *.
Match 3 – Kofi Kingston Vs Jack Swagger Vs Christian Vs MVP Vs Shelton Benjamin Vs Drew McIntyre Vs Matt Hardy Vs Dolph Ziggler Vs Kane Vs Evan Bourne – Fuck me, how many bloody guy do they need to put in this match lol? Boy, this match was… there. No spots or moments that really stand out to me enough to mention. Swagger wins, after spending half an hour unhooking the briefcase (which obviously was edited from the DVD lol). And that’s that. Think this might be worse than WM 22’s MITB match. **.
Match 4 – Sheamus Vs Triple H – Huh, did Sheamus get less pale over the years? STRAPPING, BURLEY AND STRONG! That’s how Michael Cole describes Sheamus. TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN, HERE COMES TRIPLE H. Uhhh, Striker, that was QUEEN. Triple H is the KING OF KINGS. I kinda get it, but yeah, not quite there lol. This is a good, solid match. It’s all about Sheamus wanting to make his mark on the WWE in his first year. He already “ended careers”, beat CENA for the WWE title, and now he wants to beat The Game on the grandest stage of them all. And he does a pretty awesome job of really beating the fuck out of him too. He’s HHH’s boy so obviously HHH is gonna make sure he looks good, but most importantly, despite getting a huge push so early in his career without really deserving it, Sheamus really holds up his own. And Sheamus would continue to improve over the next year or so and by 2012 would legitimately be one of the best workers in the company. Definitely a top 3 guy in the company that year based on great TV matches and PPV performances. In the end, HHH manages to get the win, but only just. Match felt like they had been through a small war by the end, and even though Sheamus lost he came out looking great. Did exactly what it was intended to do. Wasn’t great by any means, but definitely a GOOD contest at WM. ***.
Match 5 – CM Punk Vs Rey Mysterio – Oh look, Rey is dressed like a complete tit again. DRESS NORMAL AT WM YOU TWAT. Good job the guy is talented lol! Punk is in his SES phase at this time, and if Rey loses he must join them. Rey is fighting the odds right from the start, constantly getting distracted by Serina… Sarina… the bald chick and Luke Gallows (DOC), allowing Punk to control the match. Match isn’t that long here, but reminds me of Rey/Hardy from WM 19 in a way. They don’t get the length of match they deserved, but they manage to fit as much as possible into the match as they can without it becoming just a bunch of moves with each guy trying to fit stuff in for the sake of it. SES play a great part on the outside, constantly screwing up Rey’s comeback attempts, until it finally backfires on Punk and Mysterio gets the win. I never really understood the booking behind this whole feud though. They just kept throwing Punk under the bus, when surely it would have been FAR more interesting for them to have had Punk like… WIN at some point, and make Rey join the SES. Then you can play up on Mysterio having to follow Punk, deal with morals and shit, and then finally after a few months get a chance for redemption by once again facing Punk for his freedom. Instead Rey won, then Rey won, and Rey won, then Show destroyed the SES and shit went to hell. Ah well, we got some good matches out of it at least, and this was one of them. ***1/4.
Match 6 – Vince McMahon Vs Bret Hart – Oh sweet jebus no. If you’ve seen it you’ll understand. NO.
Match 7 – Chris Jericho Vs Edge – A year ago they formed a tag team and became tag champs, and were set to go on a big run with the belts. Then Edge got injured. Fast forward to the RR, Edge returns and wins! At the EC, Jericho wins the WHC and that sets up this match because Jericho mocked Edge for getting injured or something. The main build for this is Edge screaming SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR SPEAR for like 2 months. Yeah that didn’t get tiring. I WAS BEING SARCASTIC. Edge is the RATER R SOUP-R-STAR. LOL at Matt Striker. THEY ARE BOTH FROM CANADA SO THEY TRAINED TOGETHER AND TRAVELLED TOGETHER. Yeah I don’t think it quite works like that. Did Regal and Barrett train together? They’re both from England so I guess so! Gotta love the dead crowd here, only getting into the parts of the match where Jericho is doing something to hurt Edge. First 3/4 of this match is honestly pretty dull though, regardless of the crowd giving a shit or not. There was no reason for them to get into the match, nor me. Then Jericho counters a Spear with the Code Breaker and things pick up. Mainly because instead of pointless back and forth shit, Jericho actually gets to control the match. Back and forth stuff can be great, and can even make for a good match if that’s the main structure, but that didn’t fit this match at all. Was always gonna be about Jericho going after the recent injury of Edge, with Edge desperately trying to hold on and somehow beat Jericho to make his return mean something. Just a shame they took so long to get into all that. Then as things are picking up, Jericho decks Edge with the title belt, Edge kicks out, another Code Breaker and this one is over. Damn. Really liked this on last watch. Hell, so far this entire event is not living up to my memory of it. Used to consider it a top 3 ‘Mania. Not even with the main event with this make it even close to that. Shame. **.
Match 8 – Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Layla & Maryse Vs Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Gail Kim & Eve Torres – NO.
Match 9 – John Cena Vs Batista – WWE Title match! Focus of the match is on Cena’s neck, as the last time these two faced (SummerSlam 08), Cena got his neck injured and actually had to take TIME OFF. Shocking I know. Batista does a great job attacking the neck, and at one point hits a real sick looking DDT that honestly looked a little botched, not in the sense that it didn’t look good, but that it looked like Cena really did get fucked up from it lol. Despite Batista’s good work though, Cena’s superman shit keeps screwing the match up a little. For example, Batista counters the 5 Knuckle Shuffle with a Spinebuster, and seconds later Cena has Batista locked in the STFU like nothing happened to him. Kinda like HHH/Batista from Backlash 05, where HHH did some fucking awesome back work to Batista, then Batista completely murdered the match by ignoring it completely for the finish. Well ok, nowhere near as bad here as Cena still sells the neck in between all his little superman comebacks, but still, I don’t like him shrugging it off for a few minutes while he does something then decides to go back to selling when it suits him. MASSIVE Batista Bomb, which should have ended the match, but Cena is winning so he had to kick out, and Batista’s shock face makes up for it all anyway lol. Cena ruins shit again though by no selling the Batista Bomb to not only counter another one, but then counter the counter to his counter (you following this?) with a stupid strength spot leading into another F-U (Or AA by this point). Thank FUCK Batista kicked out of it because it looked retarded. OH MY GOD CENA STOP IT! He comes off the ropes, gets caught in a massive Spinebuster, and again completely fucking ignores it, counters a Batista Bomb attempt, locks in th STFU and wins. FUCK YOU. Batista brought all sorts of awesomeness to this match and Cena cancelled it out. I’m far from a Cena hater when it comes to his ring work, but matches like this make me at least understand why people don’t like him. He completely fucked up everything Batista was doing. Sell? Nah, SUPERMAN COMEBACK! Urgh. Hard to rate this one. Cena was terrible and Batista was awesome. **3/4.
Match 10 – The Undertaker Vs Shawn Michaels – Fuck YES. When it was getting towards the end of the show, and only this match and the WWE Title match were left, I assumed the title match would end the show. And then the Title match happened first. People can complain all they want about the fact that the title should have main evented the show, but fuck it. They’ve done it before, and the matches they had in place of a title match at the main event were fucking shit (HHH/Jericho, HHH/Orton etc). Last year this match didn’t main event, and the matches that had to follow it were fucked. The crowd were dead after cheering so much, and everything fell flat. And with the rematch being billed as an even bigger match, with HBK’s career on the line, it was obvious that nothing would be able to follow it again, so WWE made the right choice this year. Oh, and to anyone thinking that the “credibility” of the titles might be affected by not main eventing WM… what credibility? Having the belts change hands every month near enough doesn’t make the belts credible to start with. Besides, it’s all fake :P. It’s funny how last year when I watched HBK/Undertaker live, I didn’t think it was as great as I do now. It was only when I watched it again that I loved it even more. But with this match, watching it live I was marking out like a little kid, and I quickly threw ***** at it. Now I just have to see if that rating will stick on this watch. The marking out began for me when Undertaker made his entrance with his fancy new coat. It just looks… cool lol. I like to interpret him wearing it and having the hood on as him looking like the Grim Reaper or something, and he is here to inform Shawn Michaels that his career is over. Undertaker probably just wore it because it looked cool, but hey, I can turn almost anything Undertaker does into a logical positive :P. Both men stare each other down before the match starts, and Shawn gives Undertaker the cut throat sign, symbolising that he intends to end the Streak. Undertaker didn’t like that, so he charges out of the corner, and we get a similar start to their match last year, only at a MUCH quicker pace. After last year, both men know exactly what to expect from the other, so they are clearly trying to finish this thing as soon as possible before they potentially make a mistake. Speaking of mistakes… Old School from The Undertaker, and when he lands, his knee gives out. Either Undertaker really did hurt his knee (and it wouldn’t surprise me, his knees are fucked), or he did the best job at selling an injury since Christian in his ECW match with Swagger last year (thank you Viva for that one lol). Shawn takes advantage with a kick, but Undertaker is still too strong and remains in control for now. But then Shawn fakes a Superkick, and when Undertaker flinches (nice throw back to last year’s match), his knee again buckles under him. Shawn sees this and gets a smirk. Yeah, he already knew that Undertaker hurt his knee, but in the back of his mind he could have been thinking that Undertaker was taking a page out of HBK’s book by faking an injury (again, a nice throw back to last year’s match where Shawn tried it). But when Undertaker was still seemingly in pain, Shawn realised that the Dead Man was indeed hurt. And this is where I was able to suspend my belief and just watch the match as nothing more than a fan, a mark, an idiot (or moron, or just plain stupid, I forget which word was mentioned earlier in reference to someone being able to suspend their belief during this match) whatever the hell you want to call me… and I couldn’t decide who was going to win. Shawn was fighting for his career, and Undertaker was hurt. Similar to last year with Undertaker’s dive over the ropes, only this time Shawn, like I just mentioned, is fight for his entire career. He has to be more determined than ever before. As hurt as The Undertaker is, and despite how it turned out last year, the Dead Man STILL attempts to dive over the ropes, but Shawn clips the knee and goes right back to work on it. This is WrestleMania though, and no matter how hurt Undertaker is, he will never stop fighting. Shawn hits the flying forearm, kips up, and walks right into a Chokeslam! Undertaker knows that Shawn always likes to kip up following that move, so he scouted it and capitalised on it. Shawn comes back, takes Undertaker to the outside, but Undertaker continues to battle through the pain, and he channels WrestleMania 8 against Jake Roberts, and Tombstone’s Shawn on the floor!!! Undertaker rolls Shawn in the ring, and goes for a quick cover, but Shawn kicks out. I didn’t think it was over there, and from the reaction of the crowd, neither did they. Considering the time Shawn had to recover, and the fact he kicked out of one last year, I don’t think anyone saw it as a credible finish. More tremendous selling from Undertaker when he collapses while trying to hit the Last Ride. Shawn uses this time to go for an elbow drop, but Undertaker gets his knees up! Again, The Undertaker sells tremendously when Shawn lands on his knees. Hells Gate is locked in, but Shawn counters it! I guess you could put it down to two things here; Shawn making sure he does everything he can to save his career, and Undertaker’s knee being so screwed up that he didn’t have full control of the move. A couple of back and forth finishers between the two now, with a couple of near falls, and while I did get caught up in the moment watching it live, this time I’m not as into them lol. Yeah, even watching live I knew they weren’t going to end the match, but seeing it happen for the first time was just better than on a re-watch. Still isn’t taking anything away from the match for me though. The table is set up for a table spot, which I predicted as soon as it was announced there were no DQ’s or Countouts. Loved what they did with it too, teasing a Last Ride, Superkicking ‘Taker onto the table, and then having Shawn hit a fucking incredible moonsault. Now, was Shawn SUPPOSED to land on Undertaker’s knees, or was he supposed to land on his chest as usual? I don’t know, but honestly I don’t care. Undertaker sold his legs again like fucking crazy, and it fit in perfectly with the story of Undertaker’s legs being fucked. So honestly I don’t care if it was a “botch” or not. Like the dive last year, it ADDED to the match rather than hurt it. And now the part where I nearly had a heart attack (it happened last year, and dammit, it happened again this year lol). Following the moonsault through the table, Undertaker was nearly done. So Shawn tried to end it once and for all with a huge Superkick, and I honestly believed 100% that it was over. When Undertaker kicked out I legit cheered lol. When a match can make me CHEER at my TV when I am sat watching it at home, you know it’s doing something right! My heart continues to take a pounding when Undertaker hits a second Tombstone, and Shawn manages to do what he failed to do last year… kick out! Not even close to the Tombstone kick out from last year, but it still did its job. And now for the finish. Beautiful. Perhaps my favourite finish to any match ever. Undertaker pulls down the straps, goes to signal for another Tombstone, but looks down at Shawn and stops. He tells Shawn to stay down, almost like he knows what he has to do, but doesn’t want to do it. He already said in a promo during the build up to the match that he wouldn’t take pleasure in ending Shawn’s career, and it came across so well right here. So you ask, WHY? Why wouldn’t Undertaker want to end Shawn’s career? Unlike 1997/1998 when they first feuded, last year’s match and this year’s match had NOTHING to do with sheer hatred. It was about the Streak last year, with Shawn wanting to prove he could end it. This year it was about the Streak once again, but with Shawn NEEDING to end it more than just proving he can. And The Undertaker had to respect Shawn for going to these lengths to try and do both. So Undertaker had sympathy for Shawn… but Shawn wasn’t going down without fighting until the very end. He wasn’t going to just give up. He gave the cut throat taunt once again, just like he did at the start of the match, and SLAPPED the Dead Man across his face! In a lot of ways, it was like Flair/HBK from WM 24. Shawn didn’t really want to land that last Superkick, but Flair basically begged him to do so, and Shawn was essentially begging Undertaker to finish it here too. So Undertaker does, and he does it with perhaps the biggest and best Tombstone of his career. He literally jumped in the air, and came crashing down with Shawn going head first into the match. 1… 2… 3! Good GOD! What a motherfucking masterpiece of a match. Best WrestleMania match ever. The story, the emotion, the action, the intensity… everything was there, and everything was perfect. *****.