Feels good to be in the normal routine with posting this action webcomic. With a week off of the dayjob, I hope to be able to get ahead on coloring the art on chapter 4 and drawing the art for chapter 5, as well as finishing the script for chapter 6. keep reading: stuff is about to get ill.
Now, about last night…
This year’s Wrestlemania promised to be the biggest spectacular in the event’s history, with some truly iconic matches going on. Unfortunately, they were about half right. The main event level matches were all well done. The Hell In A Cell match between Triple H and Undertaker was well-paced, unpredictable, and violent, with some great moments, just as you’d expect from veteran performers like Trips, Taker and HBK. These guys put it all out there and left everything in that cage. If they were going out, they were going to go out with a bang, which is exactly what they did. And the show of mutual respect between the three afterwards was also a great moment to highlight the legendary careers of these three guys. My hope is that taker calls it a career and leaves the game with the 20-0 WM mark that should never be matched by anybody ever.
The CM Punk/Chris Jericho match was also very well executed, as it should be between the WWE’s two premier mat technicians. Lots of back and forth, momentum changes and ring psychology. Jericho plays an awesome heel and is in character all of the time, even taunting Punk in the ring during their match. The move reversals were awesome and these guys really put on a show. Excellent in-ring storytelling all around. I’d like to see this feud extended, but I think Jericho’s going to set his sights on something else in the wake of that match.
The Rock/Cena match exceeded all expectations, but in reality shouldn’t have. For all of Dwayne’s mic theatrics, people forget that this guy has always been an electrifying guy to watch in the ring. What he lacks in technical proficiency he more than makes up for in raw energy, the way he sells every single move for both he and his opponents (some – like me – would even go so far as to say he oversells and looks almost cartoonish in the ring) are unmatched. In hindsight, you knew that despite whatever real or storyline beefs Rock has with Cena, he would still go out of his way to make John look good in the ring. And on the flipside, Cena has been known to step his game up and put on great matches when the need arises. He had stellar performances in the ring with Kurt Angle, Chris Jericho (not so much Randy Orton) and most recently CM Punk, so when arguably the biggest match of his career comes about, you had to know he was going to rise to the level of competition. These guys put on a helluva match. The storytelling was impeccable – both men came off as both aggressive and resilient, and pulled out all of the stops like two men who had everything to lose. I’m not a fan of seeing a signature move or finisher performed multiple times in a match, though. A signature move is a signature move for a reason. I only want to see it once, and if the dude kicks out of it, then too darned bad- you’re just going to have to find another way to win. Arguably the greatest WM match in history – Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat, went down with Savage doing his top rope elbow only once, and with Steamboat not doing his finisher at all. So I didn’t like seeing multiple Attitude Adjusters and Rock Bottoms. Even still, the desperation in both Rock and Cena came across nicely, and they are to be commended for what should be remembered as an epic match.
Those matches lived up to all of the hype of Wrestlemania.
The rest of the card?
Not so much.
This is where the event fell flat. When you’re putting on an event as big as Wrestlemania, you really want EVERY SINGLE MATCH to be main event level. This is your biggest event, it should feature the biggest and best matches with the highest stakes. The greatest overall Wrestlemania I’ve seen is WM XIX. Even the undercard matches felt like they would have been the main event on a lesser WWE show. This did not have that feel. Kane vs. Orton was a run-of-the-mill Kane and Orton match with no real spice. True, a well-performed match is a reward in and of itself, but when it’s Wrestlemania, it has to be bigger than that. The whole angle just seemed to be a shoehorn way to get Orton and Kane onto a WM card, and that’s a disservice for both men. Same thing for Cody and Big Show. I’d have rather seen the Cody vs. GoldDust match they were hinting at earlier this year. Show and Cody really didn’t have much sizzle to it. The Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres fiasco with Maria Menudos and Kelly Kelly was exactly that: a fiasco. That match was almost unwatchable. They really should have had Beth vs. Kharma for the Divas belt. Would have been a lot more entertaining, and certainly with better wrestling. Menudos could have been special guest referee, or something if they really needed to get a celebrity in there. The Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy match was unspectacular, and was really just a way to get some of their top midcarders on the card. They could have done that with a Money In The Bank match, which would have been a lot more entertaining. But I made my feelings known about that earlier.
And don’t get me started on the hot garbage that was Daniel Bryan’s title defense.
So this year’s WM was decent, but the high points were balanced out by all of the low points. Now, let’s see what they brew up for next year, especially now that one Brock Lesnar is back in the picture…