The amount of time that was not spent on wrestling: This happens every year so it was expected and was not even as bad as previous years but it still makes the category. Things such as a mini concert in the middle of WrestleMania or MORE replays of videos telling us how important The Rock vs. Cena is going to be or almost anything that wasn’t actual wrestling, or at the very least people walking toward the ring can be frustrating. (Note that taking time for Brodus Clay to make an appearance is considered an exception to this)
The Main Event: We’ve waited for this match for over a year. Ever since The Rock returned to the WWE and called out John Cena, we’ve waited to see them have a fight. We’ve been waiting even longer than that if you count discussions like “Who would win in a fight?” and “I wish Rock would come back and show Cena how good a real wrester is.” So with that kind of anticipation, at the very least this match needed to be a shoe in for match of the year. And you know what? It’ wasn’t even the match of the night. Maybe in time, I’ll be able to watch the match again more objectively and focus of the good points (of which there were some) but right now, all I can focus on is that the match itself was nowhere close to being worth the anticipation or year of buildup.
The World Heavyweight Championship: This is where I am supposed to cry out about how the 19 second match was a disaster of epic proportions, how we’ve been screwed out of this match for two years now, how WWE continues to underutilize Daniel Bryan. But here’s the thing. I watched WrestleMania with several friends who were varying levels of WWE fans. Some watch five hours of WWE a week. Some were only there because their significant others were making them come. But my point is that everyone who didn’t watch SmackDown on a weekly basis loved the match. The fact that Daniel Bryan was slighted out of his WrestleMania moment is not the real problem here. Bryan has a long and amazing career ahead of him and will almost certainly have many memorable WrestleMania moments in the future. The problem is much bigger than that. A shocking 18-second match is not automatically a bad thing. With the right wrestlers that would be easily entertaining. The problem is that right now, there are fans out there that don’t understand that Daniel Bryan and Sheamus is not the match for that to happen on. I’m hoping the adamant Miami crowd has convinced WWE to continue to push one of their most talented wrestlers even though he has lost the title.
End of an Era Match: Along with Cena vs. The Rock, this match was the basis for my “I already paid fifty bucks for this WrestleMania last year” argument. But this year’s match offered a much more satisfying conclusion to the “Undertaker vs. DX members” saga than last year’s. The year off has clearly done Undertaker good, as he was in prime form on Sunday. Even without the inclusion of headshots, their match featured some of the best use of folding chairs that I have seen in a long time. And what’s more the match told a story. The emotion from everyone involved was clear from the very beginning. The shot of Undertaker standing on the head of Triple H’s hammer with a pan upward to his face, staring down at his foe, may have been the best camerawork that I’ve ever seen from WWE.
The Dark Match: Last year, the dark match was a match that had been talked about on Raw. It was a match that I was looking forward to seeing and was stunned when it was pushed to before the show started meaning that I would never get to see it. Genuine buildup that lead to nothing. This year, the dark match wasn’t mentioned on any of the main shows, but it was put online, so that you could be aware of it. Another match that we would never get to see though? Actually no, because if it was a match that you were interested in, it was later put online, the very same place that you would have heard about it. Whether the match was a good one or not is unimportant here. The important thing is that WWE is letting you see the matches if you are interested.
WWE Championship Match: Best match of the night? Best match of the night
The Fallout: While the months building up to WrestleMania is always exciting, it’s no surprise that the weeks following it are less than exciting. A lot of the fallout from WrestleMania leads to the next PPV being little more than half of the WrestleMania matches happening again, but only being half as good. This year however, WrestleMania ended with lots of things to deal with between now and Extreme Rules. Now that Johnny Ace is in charge of both shows what does that mean for the talent on each show? Is Teddy just gone forever? What about Cena? Now that he has lost what is next for him? Who is he going to feud with? And the matches that we will have to sit through again will most likely be Punk vs. Jericho which I am more than happy to watch again at Extreme Rules, and Sheamus vs. Daniel Bryan, which we never really got to see in the first place. And apparently in all this fallout, Brock Lesnar is going to be involved somehow. So, there’s that as well.
Unrelated Thought: When you get a copy of WrestleMania on DVD or wherever you see it next, I want you to focus on a man sitting in the front row behind the ring. He is wearing a Green John Cena shirt and hat, and was the person who caught Cena’s shirt before the main event. He also may have been the most entertaining part of the evening. Just through body language you can decipher whom he is cheering for in each and every match throughout the night and never have I seen a fan that was so invested and supportive of his chosen wrestlers. Wherever you are Green Shirt Guy, I salute you.