It was the old WWE regime that ruled WrestleMania 29. The Rock returned and electrified the crowd, Triple H and Brock Lesnar had an intense fight, but it was The Undertaker with CM Punk that stole the show in one of the most star studded WrestleMania pay per views ever.
You didn’t buy the WrestleMania 2013 edition expecting surprise winners. We all knew how it was going to turn out. You watched it expecting to see the most exciting WrestleMania of all-time. While it may not go down as the best ever, it was certainly one of the most memorable top to bottom from the modern era. In regards to the overall show you won’t find much better.
John Cena pinned The Rock to win the WWE championship. The crowd was much more into this match in the open than anything else on the show. It definitely had a main-event vibe to it. Like last year though I found the zest to wear off pretty quickly. It was almost as if the crowd was waiting for something big to happen, yet they kept a pretty lethargic pace. They finally opened up with a bunch of moves after a few minutes with Cena eventually winding up in a Sharpshooter. The crowd hated Cena, booing him every time he went on the offense. The Rock got a great reaction from a spinebuster. Cena kicked out of a People’s Elbow and Rock Bottom. Cena reversed a People’s Elbow attempt into an AA for a close fall. Cena hit a Rock Bottom for another close fall. They played a lot off of last year’s match. Rock countered a sequence where he Cena suckered him with a People’s Elbow attempt into an AA attempt which was countered with a Rock Bottom for a close fall. They both kept going for the AA and Rock Bottom. Cena hit the AA out of a Rock Bottom to pin Rock and win his 11th WWE championship. I’d definitely call this match better than their last one but at the same time it was nothing special in my opinion. Rock shook Cena’s hand and hugged him after the match to a crowd full of boos. That wasn’t what these people wanted to see.
The Undertaker retained The Streak going 21-0 defeating CM Punk. The Undertaker looked better than I expected here. The crowd came alive for this match more than any other at this point. One thing that dawned on me during the match is that the WWE let a golden opportunity slip here. Cena and Rock didn’t need the title. If Punk held on to the title they could have promoted streak vs. streak and the match would have been absolutely huge! Maybe I need to bid on that auction to submit my idea to Stephanie McMahon…or maybe not? Great match, much better than I expected. The big spot here was Punk nailing The Undertaker with an elbow off of the top to Taker who was laying on a table outside of the ring. They had a ton of close falls towards the end, building to the usual high drama of The Undertaker’s WrestleMania matches. The Undertaker reversed a GTS into a Tombstone for the pin. I wouldn’t put this up there with the Shawn Michaels-Undertaker matches, but it was certainly up there with the Triple H matches. It was different but just as good if not better. For a guy that was just hobbling up and down the ramp on Monday night, The Undertaker looked real good and Punk was an all-star here.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger to retain the WWE world heavyweight title. Swagger tapped out to the cross armbreaker. This was probably what you expected. I can’t say a whole lot about it. They had a cool spot in the match where Swagger somehow rolled through an arm breaker to the Patriot Lock teasing a title change. I am guessing this program is over since Del Rio got the win clean. No Dolph Ziggler here. I give up predicting a Ziggler cash in. Logically why a man holding a Money in the Bank briefcase wouldn’t cash in at WrestleMania 29 makes no sense to me.
The Shield defeated The Big Show, Sheamus, and Randy Orton in a hot opener. Orton tug himself in when Sheamus went to tag Show. Orton cleaned house at that point. Orton hit an RKO but was then speared by Roman Reigns and pinned by Dean Ambrose. The post-match saw Show lay out both Orton and Sheamus. It was a hot opener but The Big Show turning on Orton and Sheamus was way too predictable. I am not sure what the deal was with Orton but it appeared Orton was set up to turn. For a WrestleMania it was a decent opener. I’d like to see what they could have done with more time.
On a side note, last year I ordered the stream off of WWE.com and told you how horrible it was. Out of convenience I was willing to give it another shot. Unfortunately for about five minutes the website either timed out or said stream unavailable. I wound up ordering off of FIOS. I received some tweets from people who said they ordered the online stream and couldn’t get it on WWE.com. Later I saw some say their stream didn’t come back until about the three hour mark. I cannot fathom for the life of me how a company who brags about social media and has as much money as the WWE can’t get these WrestleMania streams right. It really boggles my mind!
Mark Henry defeated Ryback. This reminded me of a lot of the strongman vs. strongman matches I watched in the 1980s like Tony Atlas vs. Jesse Ventura, Ivan Putski vs. Ken Patera where the guys work a slow pace and test each other with power moves, bear hugs, etc. Ryback eventually took Henry off of his feet with a clothesline for his big comeback. Ryback then got Henry up for Shellshock but Henry grabbed the ropes and Ryback collapsed with Henry on his back. Henry wound up rolling over and pinning him. Ryback wound up giving Henry a spinebuster and Shellshock after the match. This was kind of odd considering the guy was “knocked out.” So this tells me one of two things. Either the WWE has totally given up on Ryback or Ryback is turning heel and is en route to a big SummerSlam 2013 clash with John Cena. My hunch is that Ryback is turning heel but it’s just a guess. I wouldn’t call this a bad match but it wasn’t anything special either.
Team Hell No retained the WWE tag team titles over Big E and Dolph Ziggler. Daniel Bryan was red hot in the opening moments of this match. Bryan and Ziggler started off and the fans really seemed to come alive for these two. Fans also got into Big E and Kane going head to head early on. Kane was in for the majority of the match for Team Hell No. Ziggler was fantastic as usual in the match, bumping all over the place. Kane chokeslammed Ziggler, tagged into Bryan, Bryan came off with a diving headbutt off the top rope, and pinned Ziggler for the win. Bryan was by far the most over guy on the show at this point. Bryan and Kane didn’t tease any problems. This was a pretty good match but I am not really sure what the thought was of having Kane work most of the match instead of Bryan. As confused as I was on the WWE’s inability to operate streaming video properly, I am even more confused every time I watch Daniel Bryan as to why he is not pushed harder. Unfortunately these guys only got about six minutes.
On another side note I have to tell you that it got old fast seeing tweets crawling across my television for four hours. I can see throwing the tweets up on Monday Night RAW but when you are charging people $70 to watch WrestleMania, I think you need to limit the tweets or kill them altogether. Not sure what the end game was there. Did they expect you to turn the show off you paid $70 to watch and jump on Twitter? Could you imagine seeing streaming tweets during the Super Bowl across your television? It was ridiculous.
Fandango pinned Chris Jericho. This was a pretty damned good match, probably better than most expected. I thought a real gutsy angle here would have been for Fandango to walk out telling the fans that Lillian got his name wrong. Talk about the height of arrogance giving up your WrestleMania match! He didn’t. Jericho was on fire here and was a real one-man show early on, and dominating the match. Jericho kicked out of Fandango’s top rope leg drop. JBL said Fandango winning would be the biggest upset in sports entertainment history. He needs to search on YouTube for David Sammartino vs. Ron Shaw. The finish saw Jericho tweak his knee going for the Lionsault and while going for the Walls of Jericho was cradled by Fandango. This finish probably came across better on television with the announcers explaining it. I’ll say this about Chris Jericho. Instead of phoning it in he embraced the challenge and really upped his game here.
Overall I’d say that WrestleMania was pretty good. From top to bottom it was probably the most solid card they have had in a long time. There weren’t any bad matches and you didn’t have the show slowed down by any ridiculous celebrity matches. The Undertaker and Punk easily stole the show and while the others worked hard, these guys just had “it”. Nothing else came close to this one, although the opener was real good for the short amount of time they had. I’d certainly say the spectacle here was bigger than the event.
I’d give the show a recommendation if you were on the fence. You won’t find many better WrestleMania events from open to close. At the same time I can almost guarantee you that Extreme Rules will probably blow it away.
Full WWE WrestleMania 29 results…
John Cena pinned The Rock to regain the WWE championship
Triple H defeated Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Match
The Undertaker defeated CM Punk
Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger via submission to retain the WWE WHC
Fandango defeated Chris Jericho
Team Hell No retained the WWE world tag team titles defeating Dolph Ziggler and Big E. Langston
Mark Henry defeated Ryback
The Shield defeated Randy Orton, Sheamus, and The Big Show
The Miz defeated Wade Barrett to win the WWE I-C title