Hey guys! I’m back with my retro WrestleMania reviews, and this go around, we’re taking up WrestleMania 27. Let’s get to it!
Edge (C) def. Alberto Del Rio – World Heavyweight Championship
This match is a little bittersweet for me because Edge is my favorite superstar, and this would prove to be his final match in his storied WWE career. And not even Edge himself knew this either. Overall, this was a well-worked opener, and I want to give a big shoutout for Del Rio for a splendid performance in his first WrestleMania. His arm work was very good here, and I liked how both men continued that story throughout the entire duration of the match. That kind of psychology brought some good drama and the crowd got into it towards the end because of it. Considering the rest of the card, I’m kind of baffled as to why this was chosen as the opener for WrestleMania, but whatever. This wasn’t anything that will blow you out of the water, but it was very well-worked, the story was basic, and all characters played their roles well. Edge would go onto retire as the World Heavyweight Champion, which was a fitting end to his career. Going out on top. ***1/4
Cody Rhodes def. Rey Mysterio
I heavily dug Cody Rhodes’ mask gimmick back in 2011, and he proved himself to be one solid mid-carder. For obvious reasons regarding the mask, Rey Mysterio was just the right opponent for him. A seasoned veteran that can compliment his style. The battle between the face mask and the knee brace was a neat little story here, and I liked how Rey would have Rhodes’ mask on, but Rhodes would eventually have the last laugh by using the brace to his advantage towards the end. Overall, the quality wasn’t too far down from the opener, and it kept the crowd engaged. I wasn’t expecting anything fantastic here, but it accomplished its purpose and the younger star got a deserved victory over the veteran who didn’t need it. ***
The Big Show, Kane, Kofi Kingston and Santino Marella def. Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Ezekiel Jackson and Justin Gabriel (The Corre)
The match was just over a minute long. So the only thing this meant was that these 8 superstars were only out there for the sake of appearing at WrestleMania. The whole Nexus/Corre rivalry was never intriguing and lost all steam when Cena buried the Nexus at Summerslam the year before. I’m not sure what to say about this other than that this was a nothing match filled with people who had nothing better to do. I’m not even sure I can qualify this as a match, so of course, there will be no rating.
Randy Orton def. CM Punk
I actually liked Orton and Punk’s rivalry in early 2011, because it was one of the times where I really saw Orton put in the effort to make the rivalry mean something. This was before CM Punk would strike lightning in the bottle later in the year, but the entire match worked for me because of Orton’s selling of the leg. Punk was working over it the entire match, and Orton showed that he was unable to perform certain moves, such as his signature punt, because of it. Even things such as his comeback sequence didn’t have as much fire to it because his movement was limited. Punk was also tremendous in staying on it and even taunting him on it.
My favorite portion, by far, was when Orton popped up for an RKO when Punk was creeping up on him and Punk had him scouted, so then he figured he was safe. However, Punk would go for broke and figured he could hit a bigger move. Unfortunately, he wasn’t at all safe, and Orton ended up hitting a better move. While I thought this could have been much greater with about 5 more minutes, this was the best match of the night so far, and an extremely solid match between two of WWE’s top workers at the time. 2011 was quite the year for both men. ***1/2
Michael Cole def. Jerry Lawler by DQ
Oh my goodness. This. So, according to the official match totals, this got more time than the opening World Title match, Rhodes/Mysterio, and was only a minute shorter than Orton/Punk. Who the hell thought giving this nearly 14 minutes was a good idea. This was just bad, bad, BAD on all accounts. I seriously do not see what the entire point of this feud was. Cole’s whole heel shtick from 2010 to 2011 was one of the worst storylines I could recall in recent memory. I can only imagine what kind of reaction this would have gotten if Stone Cold wasn’t here.
Needless to say, this match was freaking deplorable, and the only reason to hit this is to wait for Stone Cold to hit stunners on everyone. And guess what folks?! For some inexplicable reason, while Lawler is initially declared the winner, the anonymous RAW GM (oh yeah, remember that?) says that Austin overstepped his boundaries and that Cole actually won the match as if anyone cared who won. So not only did they give nearly 15 minutes to commentators, but they give this match…..THIS MATCH, a dusty finish? The only good thing was Stone Cold, and they just completely deflated the crowd for no inexplicable reason. Words cannot describe how much I detested this abomination. YIKES. -***
The Undertaker def. Triple H – No Holds Barred
Taker and Triple H have had quite their battles, and they had three bouts at WrestleMania. Out of the three, I think this was their “worst”. Now, that is far from an insult because all three of their matches were pretty damn good. Their match at WrestleMania 17 was entertaining because of the energy and the chaotic nature of it, and their WrestleMania 28 match was fantastic because of the story it told and how it signified the end of an era (or so we thought). This match, while still pretty good, was kind of different in terms of the pacing. For me, I just think these two relied too much on finisher kickouts towards the end. Triple H would hit a Pedigree, they’d wait around 1 to 2 minutes, then Triple H would hit another finisher, Undertaker would kick out, and the process repeated itself, causing the match to go longer than needed.
The physical nature of the match was something that I definitely appreciated. Both men certainly took chances and didn’t hold anything back. I don’t know what Triple H was thinking about, taking a back body drop from the top of the announcer’s table, over Taker’s head and onto the floor outside, but kudos to him there. I did like the story that came out of this regarding how Triple H forced Undertaker to need help to get onto his feet. The ego that was bruised would cause a better rematch between the two next year. The crowd definitely like the near-falls towards the end, and they did get me going, but I just thought the pace was kind of sluggish at times for a half an hour affair. But by far, the best thing you’ll see on the card so far. ***3/4
John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki def. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool
I mean, I’ve got nothing here. It’s a 3-minute cooldown match with celebrities. Yikes. DUD
The Miz (C) def. John Cena – WWE Championship
The WWE Champion should never be a third wheel, but alas, The Miz was thurst into that situation here. It sort of reminded me when Chris Jericho was Undisputed Champion but was relegated to dog-watching duties for Stephanie McMahon before he faced Triple H at WrestleMania 18. The Miz and Cena never had the best of chemistry, and unfortunately, that made for a very lackluster main event. It’d probably pass as a RAW match, but this was highly uninspired and not entertaining in the slightest. The Miz has ceratinly put it all together in 2019, but in 2011, it was clear that there was still plenty to learn on his end. Cena was no better here either.