March to Mania · Pro Wrestling

MARCH TO ‘MANIA: It’s much better in person

I still remember the text message I got from my good friend Matt Maxson. He told me he had an extra ticket to Wrestlemania, and I couldn’t pass it up. It was my first trip to New York, and it was worth the money I spent. You can read about my trip here.

But this isn’t let’s remember a trip from last year, this is the March to Mania. So one day before Wrestlemania 30, where did Wrestlemania fall on the rankings?

 

Wrestlemania 29 (Results)

Date: April 7, 2013

Arena: MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, N.J.)

Attendance: 80, 676

SUMMARY: Excuse the snark on this one. It’s been a long month. The loss to The Rock a year before sent John Cena’s life into a tailspin. I won’t go into the slippery slope details, let’s just say, none of it made sense and still doesn’t, but go with me here. Cena bounced back from his hellacious year by winning the Royal Rumble. The Rock had come back, and ended the lengthy title reign of CM Punk (ask me how I felt about this and you’ll get a elongated rant) to claim his first title in seemingly forever, setting up for “Once in a Lifetime … again” for the WWE title. Alberto Del Rio won the World Heavyweight title and he was actually liked by some fans. He retained the title at Royal Rumble against the Big Show. Jack Swagger, who was returning from some type of self-imposed exile, came back with an xenophobic gimmick with Zeb Coulter spewing things that can only be considered hate speech. Swagger won a shot at the World Heavyweight title at Elimination Chamber, setting up a borderline racist, weed-filled build to Wrestlemania. Oh, and Triple H wanted to fight Brock Lesnar again, and CM Punk wanted to break the streak.

MY ENJOYMENT RATING: C-plus

FAVORITE MATCH: CM Punk vs. The Undertaker. Some didn’t like how the death of Paul Bearer was front and center in this match’s build up. I understand why, but it really added a degree to the story. The match was a beautiful piece of work with Undertaker never hitting his key spots – old school, snake eyes in the boot and the Undertaker dive – because, as the story goes, Punk is the best in the world and he knows how to counter all of those moments. The timing of the false finish after Punk hits his GTS and Taker bounces off of the ropes and hits the Tombstone was probably one of the best timed near falls in quite some time. Nobody would have second guessed it if the match had ended there, but the kick out added another layer of emotion to the match. The finish transition where each man teased their finisher was a nice way to end. I gave this match a standing ovation at Wrestlemania 29, and it deserves one again. Also a shout out to Paul Heyman, who knows how to work add another layer of the story as a manager.

THINGS THAT MADE ME NOD IN APPROVAL: I thought The Shield match vs. the not-so-super friends of Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show was entertaining enough. This was just another glimpse of what The Shield was and how far they have come since debuting. I also enjoyed having Big E and Fandango debut at Wrestlemania. I know they could get buried in the Wrestlemania build up, but in this spot, the two came on and held their own. Unfortunately, the crowd didn’t gravitate toward Big E or Fandango to the degree that made the WWE happy, leaving then in the midcard limbo. Looking back on it, I’m glad that Dolph Ziggler didn’t cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase at Wrestlemania. It got a much hotter reaction the night after and the noise wouldn’t have been drowned out by the open-air environment of MetLife Stadium. The Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar match was also a solid brawl. If it wasn’t stuck behind Punk and Taker would have an excellent bout. Oh the lack of Tons of Funk and the Funkadactyls vs. the Bella and Team Rhodes Scholars was a something to nod about.

THINGS THAT MADE ME LOWER HEAD IN SHAME: I swear this was so much better in the crowd. While The Shield vs. the not-so-super-friends was a good match, it wasn’t anything special and felt just like a normal match that wasn’t any different from the other early Shield matches.The show started really slow, which produced a jam-packed, though emotionally draining, final 90 minutes. The finish to The Rock vs. John Cena match was probably the least satisfying finish to a main event match since Wrestlemania 2000. The constant reversals built to an anti-climactic ending that when the three count happened it was more a sense of relief. Though the mixed tag team match didn’t happen, I found myself wishing it did. It left this match between Triple H and Brock Lesnar in the dubious dead match spot, and the crowd is dead, leaving Lesnar to make gruntal noises to create noise. Also, can someone explain to me why Ryback hit his finisher after the match? How was that any better than having him beat Mark Henry?

RANDOM THOUGHT: “I don’t think Triple H’s glowing abs were intentional. But it looks cool as hell.” (Surely enough, it wasn’t. The dry ice caused second degree burns.)

MY ULTIMATE WRESTLEMANIA CARD RANKING: OK, I had a tough time rating this one. The person who was in the crowd would have put this at No. 13 behind Wrestlemania 14. I mean, that would be similar to the bump Wrestlemania 7 gets for being one of my favorite childhood cards, and I was tempted to do it for Wrestlemania 29 for witnessing Wrestlemania live and in person. But I couldn’t do it in good conscious. There was one memorable match, and while many Wrestlemanias also had one memorable match, this Wrestlemania felt like a watered down version of Wrestlemania 28. Don’t get me wrong, CM Punk vs. Undertaker was easily one of the top matches in Wrestlemania history, but other than that, I just enjoyed the energy that came with being in the stadium. The Triple H and Brock Lesnar match had potential, but it got stuck behind Undertaker and Punk, which drained the crowd, myself included, to the point of indifference toward the bout. Wrestlemania 29 will forever live in my memory as one of the most memorable trips of my life, but I can’t find myself giving the card itself any more credit than it deserves.

  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 29
  14. Wrestlemania 25 (Review)
  15. Wrestlemania 28 (Review)
  16. Wrestlemania 20 (Review)
  17. Wrestlemania 3 (Review)
  18. Wrestlemania 21 (Review)
  19. Wrestlemania 26 (Review)
  20. Wrestlemania 2000 (Review)
  21. Wrestlemania 13 (Review)
  22. Wrestlemania 2 (Review)
  23. Wrestlemania 4 (Review)
  24. Wrestlemania 12 (Review)
  25. Wrestlemania 8 (Review)
  26. Wrestlemania 11 (Review)
  27. Wrestlemania 27 (Review)
  28. Wrestlemania 1 (Review)
  29. Wrestlemania 9 (Worst in the World)

 

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