March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: Attitude Era vs. PG TV

At Wrestlemania X-8, the WWF struck gold when it featured a match between Hulk Hogan and the Rock. It was a battle of generations with Hogan representing the “Rock N Wrestling” time, while The Rock was the representative from the “Attitude Era.”

At Wrestlemania 28, the WWE attempted to recreate that type of excitement and buzz with The Rock, now playing the role of the relic from the past, taking on John Cena, the latest in the line of crossover superstars.

Did this main event strike gold like its predecessor?

Wrestlemania 28 (Results)

Date: April 1, 2012

Arena: Sun Life Stadium (Miami, Fl.)

Attendance: 78,363

SUMMARY: A year earlier, The Rock cost John Cena the WWE title against The Miz. The night after Wrestlemania 27, John Cena challenged The Rock to a match, and The Rock suggested it happen a year later at Wrestlemania 28. The Rock made his glorious return to the ring at the Survirvor Series, teaming up with John Cena to battle R-Truth and the Miz. Meanwhile, CM Punk was in the middle of his record-setting title reign, facing Chris Jericho, who had spent much fo the time building the feud with references to Punk’s estranged family and claiming that Jericho was the rightful owner of the “Best in the World” moniker. Oh, and Sheamus won the Royal Rumble, setting up a title match with Daniel Bryan.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: C-plus

FAVORITE MATCH: CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho. Call me a purist and I’m in the minority on this, but I enjoyed this match far more than the Hell in the Cell match. The angle with Punk having to control his rage, especially during the spot where he has a chair in his hand, while Chris Jericho is imploring him to hit him with the chair is a great spot. But between the near falls, exchanges of submissions, the flash finishers leading into false finishes, Jericho and Punk deliver the sleeper match of the night, as it was buried between the spectacle of Rock and John Cena and the pure passion and emotion of the Undertaker and Triple H. Even with it’s dead crowd, the match itself delivers in a way that only it can: a wrestling match featuring two high-level workers determined to prove that they have the rightful claim to being called the “Best in the World.”

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: If CM Punk and Chris Jericho wasn’t on this card, then Undertaker vs. Triple H would have been my match of the night. It had so much emotion. Toss in Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee, who found a way to deliver another Wrestlemania-caliber showing, and you get three great individual performances that will be remembered. Shawn Michaels, for a non-everyday referee, does a great job heightening the drama with two counts that look like he’s been refereeing for years. The amount of honoring the past three Undertaker matches is also a great. From each man yelling “Stay Down!” to the repeating the finish from last year where Triple H is trying to find the sledgehammer while trapped in the Hell’s Gate, the match has so many moments that highlighting it all in print wouldn’t be enough to do it justice. Once ‘Taker improves to 3-0 against Triple H, the three men help each other walk to the back, looking back and sharing an embrace on the ramp. The moment gives this series of matches a lasting image that may go down as one of the greatest sets ever. Other than that, there weren’t too many high moments, but I have to give props to The Rock for finishing the match after tearing his hamstring.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: DId Daniel Bryan really lose the title in 18 seconds? That’s just insane. You have a workhorse and he “works” an 18-second match. OK, sure. Truthfully, the card started awfully slow. The 18-second match was followed up by Kane and Randy Orton and Big Show and Cody Rhodes, which despite it’s awesome storyline of Big Show being the Wrestlemania choke artist, failed to produce something palatable. The diva’s tag team match was uneventful, and really weakened the division as a whole as Kelly Kelly was pretty much able to carry an injured non-wrestler to a victory. I think they’re still trying to recover from that period. The dance segment featuring Brodus Clay was a nice attempt for a emotional cooldown, but it really just felt out of place and slowed the card down.

RANDOM THOUGHT: “Well I can see why the Raw team is the heel group. They’re walking out to Nickelback.”

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: That’s a little better. A Wrestlemania that felt like a Wrestlemania. The show benefited from having three matches that got the time it deserved. The three main matches each got more than 20 minutes, giving them plenty of time to conclude their stories. The Rock vs. John Cena match, which wasn’t mentioned in detail above wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t great. It lacked the overwhelming crowd heat of its predecessor from Wrestlemania X-8, but it was a passable match that contributed to the card’s overall C-plus grade. There were very few bad moments on this card – the divas tag match, Sheamus’ sham of a title win and the 12-man tag match were all low points. It was a good Wrestlemania, but was it one of the best ever? Not really, considering the undercard lacked in areas. That being said, Wrestlemania 28 will finish in the top half of the Wrestlemania rankings, clocking in at No. 14 ahead of the incredibly long-winded Wrestlemania 20.

  1. Wrestlemania XIX (Review)
  2. Wrestlemania X-7 (Review)
  3. Wrestlemania 10 (Review)
  4. Wrestlemania X-8 (Review)
  5. Wrestlemania 24 (Review)
  6. Wrestlemania 7 (Review)
  7. Wrestlemania 5 (Review)
  8. Wrestlemania 23 (Review)
  9. Wrestlemania 22 (Review)
  10. Wrestlemania 15 (Review)
  11. Wrestlemania 6 (Review)
  12. Wrestlemania 14 (Review)
  13. Wrestlemania 25 (Review)
  14. Wrestlemania 28
  15. Wrestlemania 20 (Review)
  16. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  17. Wrestlemania 21 (Review)
  18. Wrestlemania 26 (Review)
  19. Wrestlemania 2000 (Review)
  20. Wrestlemania 13 (Review)
  21. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  22. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  23. Wrestlemania 12 (Review)
  24. Wrestlemania 8 (Review)
  25. Wrestlemania 11 (Review)
  26. Wrestlemania 27 (Review)
  27. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
  28. Wrestlemania 9 (Worst in the World)
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