There’s an inherent feeling about the 29th edition of WrestleMania — that it is predictable. And, after looking at the card, a fan could probably easily deduce many of the outcomes.
You see, despite all of its glory, history, pageantry, etc., this year’s ‘Mania lacks a certain luster, notoriety, and even buzz. Maybe it’s the lack of a solid build (courtesy of the creative team’s indecisiveness), the fact that it’s going to be hard to top last year’s spectacle, or maybe it’s because of this…
Rematches. Rematches galore. Rematches that make the official line-up look a big bag of “we saw that coming.”
Even as a wrestling fan, I’m finding it hard to remember that The Granddaddy of Them All is taking place this Sunday, emanating from MetLife Stadium in New Jersey/New York. For all the reasons listed above, I’m not as excited as I have been in years past, which might be why I scheduled a golf outing with some friends for that afternoon and why I’m also more amped for the Season 6 premiere of Mad Men that night.
Nevertheless, it is still WrestleMania and a lot of the time, the WWE does its best work when they have their backs against the wall to put on a good show, and this feels like one of those times. So, without further ado and rambling, let us dive into the night’s matches…
Intercontinental Championship: Wade Barrett (champ) vs. The Miz (Preshow match)
This is actually kind of a rematch as well, as these two have battled quite frequently on episodes of RAW and SmackDown and have had numerous encounters, leading to the feud. Barrett has held the title since December, and has succeeded in every title defense. He is one of the future stars of the company, and deserves the push he has been getting. However, The Miz hasn’t had a good win in a while and has started to take on some of the characteristics of his kind-of-now-mentor, the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, including having Flair bestowing his legendary submission move, The Figure-Four Leg Lock. This could actually be a solid opening match to get the crowd started and start the night off right, even if it is just on the preshow.
• WINNER: The Miz (more…)
Editors note: The following is part one of a two-part series, looking at the first-hand accounts of the WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View event from two of Couch Side’s finest writers.
As a fan of wrestling, I find it odd that I’ve only been to three WWE events in my life. The first two (a house show and a taping of SmackDown), while entertaining, lacked the glitz, glamour, and star power that the wrestling organization loves to trot out. But that underwhelming feeling immediately disappeared upon walking into the U.S. Airways Center on Sunday, January 27, for the Royal Rumble.
John Cena, CM Punk, The Rock, hell, even a surprise return by Chris Jericho. What more could I ask for? While the returns of Goldust and The Godfather were fan-pleasing, the matches themselves left quite a bit to be desired. Still, the star power alone was easily worth the $45 price of admission.
The night started hot with The Miz vs. Antonio Cesaro in what turned out to be an excellent opening match. Brett and I both (accurately) predicted Cesaro would win, but the fact The Miz got a hot pop not only surprised me, but foreshadowed everything to come. (more…)