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cactus

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  1. After a year of build, there was no way they were ever going to match the hype. One thing that would of helped this greatly is that if they didn't go 30 minutes. There's a lot of lying around here. After some neat power struggles to kick off the match, Rock gets gassed early on and it's up to Cena to carry this. Cena is taking the role as heel as the Miami crowd are never going to be cheering him over the Rock. Cena as always, is at his best when he's getting under the skin of the older fanbase. He takes an extra second to perform his big moves and the crowd are out for blood. Could of easily been a ★★★★+ 20 minute match if they trimmed the fat. ★★★
  2. Raw GM John Laurinaitis added the stipulation that if Punk gets DQ'd, he loses his title, so Jericho does everything he can to get under Punk's skin and try to get him to disqualify himself. I didn't find their acting corny at all, but I didn't like how they never played up on this again after Punk stops himself from levelling Jericho with the chair. After that they start working this match as you would expect out of these two. It's high on workrate, but low on actual drama as Jericho spends his time chipping away at Punk's back. Jericho just wasn't that interesting working down Punk. After Punk gets his comeback, the match picks up again. Each wrestler tries to lock in their submission and it results in some exciting back and forth action. I'm a big fan of the finish. After Jericho keeps escaping the Anaconda Vice by kneeing Punk's damaged back, so Punk hits the move with a bridge and that's enough for Jericho to tap out. The Best In The World has to adapt to keep his title. ★★★½
  3. If this looks like a match that they threw together just to get everyone on the card to you, then you would be right. The 'Taker/Trips HIAC match had drained the crowd and they spend most of the match sitting on their hands. Mark Henry feels wasted being here as he had just come off his incredible Hall of Pain run. He doesn't get much time to shine, but seeing him throw trash talk at a downed opponent is always entertaining. Santino will forever be a gullibility pleasure of mine. Anyone who can get something as dumb as the Cobra over is more than okay in my book. Things pick up when everyone gets a chance to throw a few of their signature spots in. The match ends in betrayal as Eve Torres enters the ring to distract her boyfriend Zack Ryder from hitting his finish. They did what they could here and the result was entertaining, even if the crowd was feeling burnt out still. ★★¾
  4. There's two types of wrestling cheese. The good and the bad. An example of the good kind is Undertaker and Triple H having a stare down, whilst a cell lowers around them whilst Metallica plays. The bad kind is Shawn Michael's entire performance in this match. His GCSE drama level acting is distracting and takes away from the match big time. Every time he counts a near-fall, he flails around the place like a moron. 'Taker and Triple H drum up some classic Wrestlemania Moments™. The Sweet Chin Music to Pedigree spot made me think that Triple H is going to end the streak. They use all the bells and whistles they can to give this a big match feel and it works for the most part. The weapon spots, ref bumps and finisher kickouts, it's all here. The opening brawling might lack heat, but the storytelling and visuals (Trips tripping after the Undertaker sits up is a particular favourite of mine) make up for it. This isn't the masterpiece they were hoping for, but it's a bloated epic that every wrestling fan needs to see, even if they end up hating it. ★★★½
  5. Jerry Lawler is still in perv mode, despite us being 5 years into the PG era at this point. I always remember Eve Torres as the workhorse of the PG Diva's era. She wouldn't get much to work with, but she always put in the effort to get something decent of any situation. Beth Phoenix and her are calling the match, which is good as their opponents are a non-wrestler in Maria Menounos and Kelly Kelly. To Kelly's credit, she didn't do anything to harm this match. She hit her flying hearscissors and even a somersault seated senton from the top rope. This wasn't a good match, but it was too short to be anything too offensive. Menounos had cracked ribs here and still wanted to do the match, so props to her. ★½
  6. After Rhodes fails to take Big Show down as the match starts, Show gets a lengthy shine segment. Chopping Cody's chest, throwing him around the ring like a sack of shit and even giving him a stinkface. Cody takes control by going after the big guy's legs. After dazing Show with a Beautiful Disaster kick, Cody tries his luck and goes to hit him with another, only to be cut off with a nasty spear right to the groin. Shows gets a win and finally gets his Wrestlemania moment. This was a lot more enjoyable that you would think. They play up to the size differences, it's wrapped up in just over five minutes and it has a feel-good ending to boot. ★★¾
  7. Both Orton and Kane are two wrestlers who can be good when they want to be, but can also be incredibly drab and dull when they aren't full motivated. Sadly, this was the latter. There's not much to say about the first five minutes. Kane throwing some nice throat thrusts is the only thing that comes to mind. It's all quite colorless and fans who are still annoyed by the treatment of Daniel Bryan aren't having this and you can a smattering of 'boring' and 'Daniel Bryan' chants. Thankfully, the crowd wake up and the action gets going once Orton hits one of his signature moves after countering a sidewalk slam attempt. Orton eats a chokeslam after missing his punt. He kicks out and the fans are invested again. Orton loses the match after Kane scores a rare top rope chokeslam. This was a solid enough match once it got going. ★★
  8. This is the match where Bryan loses the World Heavyweight title in under 30 seconds. I remember watching Bryan's entrance live and feeling so proud for him. A ROH guy finally in a World title match at Wrestlemania. If only I knew what was about to happen. Bryan kisses AJ, Sheamus lands a Brogue Kick, it's all over. This shock win pops the crowd, but it's not long before they start they start booing and cheering Bryan's name throughout most of the event. There's a part of me that wants to put on my tinfoil hat and say that WWE knew they would get strong backlash from this and it was all intentional as a way to get Bryan over at a main event level, but I'm probably giving them way too much credit.
  9. cactus

    WWE TV 3/23-3/29 Who Cares? Edition

    The Firefly Funhouse vignette and New Day vs Usos were the only things worth seeing on Smackdown this week. That opening promo was awful. Porn tier acting unfolding in front of no one. Had to fast forward that. Yeah... I think I'm done with these empty arena shows. The novelty has worn off. I'll give Wrestlemania a watch, but I'm not going to bother keeping up until this all settles down. I'm hoping that they take some much needed time off soon.
  10. Triple H defends the WWE World Title. Triple H is in full Harley Race cosplay mode here. Not only has he got the facial hair, but works this match is a slow, technical style not too different from Race's. This match walks the thin line between 'slow and methodical' and 'slow and boring', with it leaning slightly towards the latter. Trips takes out Orton with a slick drophold that I wasn't expecting from him. Orton sells the leg well as Triple H tears it apart. The referee gets knocked out and outside hi-jinks ensue as Evolution run down to screw Orton out of the title on his first PPV defence. Orton puts up a good fight, and he hits some of his best RKOs he's ever done on all three members of Evolution before Triple H puts him away with a Pedigree on a steel chair. ★★¾
  11. Robert Conway & Sylvan Grenier defend the WWE Tag Team Titles. La Resistance get absolutely nuclear heat for singing the Candian national anthem before the match. Anyways, this is solid. Tajiri is one of the best undercard worker in the company at this time. He has some of the best kicks in the business and both Conway and Grenier sell them wonderfully. The crowd seem worn out by the time the match starts and this does overstay it's welcome a tad. I guess they had to fill time as they do stretch out most of the matches on this card. The finish involves the dastardly French Canadians using their flag to score the win. ★★½
  12. HBK carries Kane to a satisfying brawl. This was happening right in the middle of that godawful Kane/Lita forced wedding storyline. Thankfully, Snitsky hasn't yet came into the picture. Despite the horrific material Kane has to work with, he's great at being an evil, despicable bastard. I wish that would translate better to his in-ring skills, as this is rather bland when Kane is working over Michaels. This picks up as soon Michaels hits his kip-up. He shoots up to his feet just a few seconds after Kane does his sit-up. Michaels keeps trying to make a comeback, but Kane cuts him off every time. It's common knowledge at this point, but Michaels is fantastic when he's working as the underdog. HBK bleeds (always a sign of a good Michaels match!), and both guys keep attempting their finishes. After being distracted by Lita, Michaels gets the win after a Sweet Chin Music and a jackknife pin. ★★★¼
  13. Edge is injured and had to relinquish the Intercontinental strap, so this is for the vacated title. This was around the time that most midcard feuds on Raw would culminate in a ladder match. Seriously, I looked it up and between 2002-2007, there was 8 ladder matches from the Raw brand in the for mostly the IC title. Like many of those matches, this one struggles to stick out from the crowd. It's enjoyable, just not overly memorable. One thing I can say is that Jericho isn't afraid to take some sick shots and bumps. There's a scary botch where he falls from a ladder and lands ass first onto the very same ladder. This could of benefited if they sped the pace up and if this had a memorable finish. Ladder matches are usually always going to be entertaining to a certain degree, and this is no exception. ★★★
  14. I like the idea of single-branded PPVs, but then I remember they filled them with crap like this. So the 'woman' who attacked Tomko is revealed to be Stevie Richards. The crowd and commentary team hardly react to this. Tomko beats down Richards for a LONG time. He rips the clothes and wig from Richards while berating him. He's not interesting and the crowd soon start chanting 'boring'. Richards gets a quick comeback, before being put away. The only positive things I can say about this is that Richards is quite good at fighting from underneath and I liked the spot where Richards slams Tomko into the turnbuckle by violently throwing him by his testicles. ★
  15. Trish Stratus defends the WWE Women's Title. Victoria starts the match with some nifty technical wrestling. I can't say I was expecting that from her. She's good here, she hits a flawless version of that sidewalk slam she does that I haven't seen anyone else do. Aside from that, there's not much to say about this. Tyson Tomko accompanies Trish to the ring and he ends up costing Victoria the match. After the match, someone in drag comes to the ring and attacks Tomko, leading us to our next match. ★★
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