Sorry for the delay in writing this- I was hoping to have it done by Thursday, but as well as being in a jetlagged stupor (I’m still not 100% over), I’ve been thrust back into the deep end with rehearsals for plays/comedy shows- seriously, if you ever want me to contribute to a comedy show, DO NOT leave me sleep-deprived and filled with caffeine. It doesn’t end well- ‘existential Beanie Babies’ and Bolton-based astronauts who mispronounce NASA are not always good topics for improvisation.
But anyway, in case you weren’t aware (Oh, you didn’t know?), last week was WrestleMania 29, and I am proud to state that I was one of the 80,676 in attendance at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ.
Naturally, I had a sign- one side in commemoration of one of this years’ Hall Of Fame inductees, and on the other, an inside joke which stemmed from a late-night watching of The Chaperone, starring Triple H.
The stadium itself is nothing short of fantastic- I’m not an American football fan, but I can imagine that the atmosphere in the MetLife on game day is incredible. The seat may have been up in the gods, but the view was nearly perfect.
So where do I start on the event itself? From the top, I guess. Best match of the night, naturally, was The Undertaker vs. CM Punk. An incredibly tense, back-and-forth match which was near-impossible to call, with Punk using The Deadman’s moves against him, such as the Old School and (nearly) a Tombstone Piledriver. It also gave us the best singular moment of the night- Punk managed to wrap himself around Undertaker using the Anaconda Vice submission move. It looks like ‘Taker might just tap…until he sits up, staring straight at the challenger. For the amount of stick that The Undertaker gets from certain corners of the internet (generally the same corner who’s ideal Wrestlemania would be a 2-hour iron man, fatal 4-way match between CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan and Dean Ambrose. Pipe down, internetz- if you want to whine, go elsewhere.), it’s matches like that that show he can still go.
The other very, very good match was a little earlier- Chris Jericho vs newbie Fandango Da duh da da dada da which unfolded quite nicely into a surprisingly good match. My only regret is that I missed Fandango’s entrance.
Worst match of the night? For me, it was the ‘battle of the behemoths’ Ryback and Mark Henry. A slow, lumbering affair, it felt like a match from around 1988- King Kong Bundy vs Ultimate Warrior.
Similarly, as a Mick Foley/Terry Funk/Edge & Christian fan, I was a little disappointed with the Triple H/Brock Lesnar ‘no holds barred’ match. Mainly because when I think of a match with the ‘no holds barred’ stipulation, I picture either chair-based mayhem, or something on fire. That being said, it was a very good match. Just……some holds might still have been barred. Maybe.
Of course, kudos points go to Shawn Michaels for giving Paul Heyman some Sweet Chin Music.
As for the other matches, the pre-show Intercontinental Championship match between Wade Barrett and The Miz was entertaining enough, if a little on the short side, and the same could be said for the Tag Team Championship match, although we finally got to see Big E Langston in an actual match (technically, 2 superstars debuted at WrestleMania this year. Not bad.) The Shield continued to show their dominance and team mentality as they took apart 3 of WWE’s biggest stars, which hinted at Big Show possibly turning heel. We’ll have to wait and see.
Another glorious moment was the announcing/coming-out-and-giving-us-a-wave of the 2013 WWE Hall Of Fame inductees:
MICK FOLEY! Crowd- YEAHHHHH! BOOKER T! YEAHHHHH! TRISH STRATUS! YEAHHHHH! BOB BACKLUND! YEAHHHHH! DONALD TRUMP! booooo…
It wasn’t even a proper boo. More a general murmur of disapproval. But a glorious moment nonetheless.
Oh, and a man called John fought a chap called Dwayne for one of the belts, and won. He was happy.
Nah, in all seriousness, I was only cheering on John Cena because out of the two, I dislike him a little less. It wasn’t a bad match- a definite improvement over last year’s, but the crowd weren’t behind it (chants of We Want Stone Cold, Austin! Austin! and similar rang across throughout most of the second half).
All in all, a fantastic card (only one truly ‘not good’ match), and although many (including myself) complain about the lack of Antonio Cesaro, Christian, The Prime Time Players etc, there was no way any of the matches could have been shortened to make way for another, sadly. Hopefully at Extreme Rules they’ll see some action.
Anyhoo, here’s some pics:
(sorry for the quality on one or two here- my camera hasn’t got great nighttime sensitivity, and doesn’t cope well with the zoom extended.)
So yeah, WrestleMania happened. I’m sure that next time I’ll talk a bit about the rest of my time in New York.