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A Quick (Wife's) Look Back at Wrestlemania 28

courtesy: wwe.com

Wrestlemania. The name alone evokes so many memories, and elicits so much excitement for me. It is the biggest event of the year for any pro wrestling fan. It is - in my eyes - one of the biggest events of the year. In fact, if given the chance, I would attend 'Mania over the Super Bowl. Every. Single. Time. 

So you can imagine the high regard in which I hold the event. For those who don't view it the same way I do or the way most pro wrestling fans do, I make every attempt to let them in on what they are missing. I believe it is every pro wrestling fans duty. You can't miss Wrestlemania! It's just not right!

So with that said, how much of a hypocrite will I seem like when I state the following sentence: my wife has never seen or experienced Wrestlemania. 

What?!

I know...

In the almost seven years we have been together, she has somehow missed (or escaped, depending on how you view it) experiencing the biggest show of the year. She even escaped a one-time excursion to Hooters during college to view the event.

The truth is, she likes wrestling, but hates the WWE. Weird, huh? She will only watch TNA Wrestling in some weird form of 1980's allegiance-ship.

[Sideblog: Also ironic, is the mere fact that my brother, who travels all over the world for jetBlue, and who is a "half-way" fan, was indeed at Sun Life Stadium for the event. Two birds with one stone. Or keeping with the wrestling theme, two stone cold stunners with one kick!]

So with that said, I decided to not only give my review and thoughts on the event for the pro wrestling fans that chime into the DP, but I have asked my wife to contribute some thoughts on her first Wrestlemania experience. She kept notes as she watched the event and without knowing of her thoughts beforehand, they were added concurrently to mine. Her thoughts are below in purple text.

Two Hours Before Wrestlemania

It’s 6pm and it has begun.

As we get set with wings, chips, soda, drinks and other festivities of wrestling chatter, the tag team partner decides that Wrestlemania should be precluded by what else? We watched "it". Two episodes of HGTV's For Rent. Ironically, it was quite entertaining and helped pass the time.

Half-Hour Before Wrestlemania

We finally wrestle (hey!) the remote away from her and tune into the pre-show. Nothing special, but there are lots of video packages, pre-show hype, and for everyone else that is not my wife, wrestling discussion and excitement. 

Someone during the pre-show just called Wrestlemania a “4 hour extravaganza.”  Oh jees- how am I going to survive 4 hours!

She exits to the kitchen, a place I now know is her room of refuge from repulsive television. My previous example? The Super Bowl. She baked like a champ that Sunday! But before she does, she offered some poignant insight on the pre-show:

Sheamus is rocking a black long sleeved button down shirt… and maybe it’s just me but he doesn’t look as pale when he’s dressed.
 
Now they're showing past matches (I think) and the only thought that comes to mind is this: what would drive a wrestler to grow their hair out long?  Gross!!  Yes, I realize its 10 minutes to the biggest wrestling event of the year and I’m thinking about hair.  But seriously, wouldn’t it just be easier to wrestle with short hair?

They just showed a close up of Undertakers makeup.  Whoever did it didn’t do a very good job on his eyeliner.  He’d look better without.

Wrestlemania Begins

courtesy: wwe.com

As any wrestling fan can testify to, the building set-up, the crowd, and the stage are the initial impressive things about Wrestlemania when it hits the air. This year's 'Mania, the third outdoor event in the twenty-eight edition history is another great spectacle. I'm a big fan of wrestling events being outdoors. From the days of Shea stadium, to TNA here in Brooklyn, to Wrestlemania, there is just a certain novelty about it. It just can't be explained. 

Ugh - outside shows are not nearly as dramatic as indoor shows with lights.  Shaemus doesn’t look like a star in the daylight.  No pyro.  No lights.  I wish the sun would set on Miami already.

Shaemus vs. Daniel Bryan

I was utterly shocked to see this end in eighteen seconds. Especially, since Bryan was very over in Miami. As a big fan of Bryan, I was hoping to see him deliver a classic on the big stage, but it was Brogue kick, 1,2,3, new champion. And I love a good Brogue kick.
 
WHAT!?  No way!  One kick and the match is over?  Pretty lame for the first match of the night.  Shaemus’ celebration is longer than the match.  I’d give it a 5/10 and the 5 points come from the shock factor that the match only lasted 8 seconds.

Randy Orton vs. Kane

Started off slow, but picked up well with a good finish. Surprised to see Kane pick up the win. I was hoping to see Orton do his predator-like mannerisms on the ground before he hits the RKO just because I know the wife loves it. 

You know that move before the RKO when Randy Orton gets down on the ground?  Stupid.

Cody Rhodes vs. Big Show

Decent bout with Big Show grabbing the beautiful old-school Intercontinental title. I'm a fan of Rhodes, but good to see Show get the win and his Wrestlemania moment. The wife headed for the kitchen when Rhodes entered, she's going to miss the always exciting Divas match!

Beth Phoenix and Eve vs. Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounous

Just kidding folks. WWE women's division is the unofficial bathroom break of all their events, including television. Sorry ladies, not sexist, just fact. 
 
I just took a LONG break during the Cody Rhodes/Big Show and Diva’s match.  Not interested in either of those matches. 

Undertaker vs. Triple H

courtesy: wwe.com
 
HHH entrance = best of the night so far.  But the Undertakers outfit and new haircut = awesome.  (which means I think HHH’s hair is awful!!!)

Wow. Awesome. Amazing. This definitely stole the show, and absolutely defined an era we'll never see again. It was brutal, vicious, and most importantly, told an impeccable story. The chair shots were vicious, especially the twelve consecutive to the back of the Undertaker. If this is truly the end for these guys, it was a great way to go. And by the way, Jim Ross on commentary was the cherry on top. 

Too many chair shots during the HHH/Undertaker match makes it hard to watch.  I don’t care how hardcore Undertaker is....enough is enough.

And HHH taking a sledge hammer to Undertakers head- that’s taking things wayyyy to far.

Team Johnny (David Otunga, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry, and Drew McIntyre) vs. Team Teddy (Santino Marella, R-Truth, Kofi Kingston, The Great Khali, Booker T, and Zack Ryder)

This one was just there. Honestly, it was tough following what is undoubtedly one of the greatest matches in Wrestlemania history (and current DP Match of the year). 

CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho

They may both be “the best in the world” but I’m totally rooting for Punk to win this match.

My pick for show stealer of the night did not disappoint. While it did not exceed 'Taker/Triple H, this match had a different feeling from the brutality seen in that bout. This one was about a clinic, pure mat technicality and submission expertise. What else can you expect with the two men that call themselves the "Best in the world"? In the end, Punk pulled out a victory. Has Jericho ever had a bad Wrestlemania match? 

Before the main event, we got a bit of a break with some musical performances and some dance routines. 

courtesy: wwe.com

The first was by Brodus Clay. If you're not a wrestling fan, let's just say Clay is a rather large man that likes to dance, jiggle, and jive to some funk. Pretty hilarious stuff unless you're my wife. She finds him pretty appalling. 

Brodus Clay is the nastiest thing I’ve seen in a long time.  Wrestlemania just took a huge turn backwards.  At least he just danced and looked like a fool and didn’t take his clothes off.  That’s the worst. 

courtesy:wwe.com; "Can't stop, won't stop"

What large event is complete without a Diddy sighting? The man is everywhere. He introduced Machine Gun Kelly who performed "Invincible" which was a very good performance. 

And now Diddy?  What the… ugh.

courtesy: wwe.com

Then out came Florida's own, Flo Rida (that just looks weird in text) to perform his two singles, "Good Feeling" and "Lost Ones". Alright stuff. I don't really care for people who sing over their tracks during a live performance. 

And finally...

The Rock vs. John Cena

I'd be lying if I didn't say John Cena didn't win me over the last couple of weeks leading into Wrestlemania. His work has been superb and his ability to stand toe-to-toe with the Rock on the mic, which is no easy feat, was very impressive. After all, as much as The Rock was one of the guys during my generation, my respect does go out to Cena. His claim of being there every night while Rock is away making movies is very much true. 

And of course, Cena debuted his new shirt tonight. Gotta push the merchandise! However, not a fan of the switch back to the blue jorts. Just when you were winning me over Cena...

Cena in jean shorts?  Yuck.  The old look of camouflage shorts was better.

Nonetheless, these two delivered on the fourteen month buildup of their match. Back and forth with drama, athleticism, and yes the impressive spot where Cena basically dead lifts a human being while on his knees. The exercise science junky in me is always impressed by that. And of course, the fact the man wears a headband on his bicep. Just crazy!

Those headbands Cena wears around his arms? Ridiculous!

Ok- so it was a good match.  All the promos that lead up to this event were pretty good, especially Cena’s promos.  But I’m totally disappointed in the result.  I don’t think Rock should be winning anything.  The man wrestles a handful of times in the past year and all of a sudden walks away a winner?  It doesn’t seem fair.  But at least it wasn’t a title match.  Does this mean he’s coming back on a more permanent basis?  Doesn’t seem fair to Cena that he is there every single night and he couldn’t come up with the victory.

courtesy: wwe.com

All in all, another Wrestlemania in the books. A very good one, and one that will always mean much more than just Rock/Cena, or Punk/Jericho or even the Triple H/Undertaker. Wrestlemania 28 will always be the first 'Mania experience for my tag team partner.

She accompanied me to Madison Square Garden for the Rock's comeback at the Survivor Series. Watched her first Royal Rumble (and beat us all in our Royal Rumble pool), and had been very much invested in the Raw shows leading up to Wrestlemania. 

In the words of the famous Jim Ross, "bahh gawd!! bah gawd!! she is a WWE fan!" 

I'm sure she just grunted in disgust reading that statement. 

Who is coming with me?

As for Wrestlemania 29, it is here in the New York City area at MetLife stadium next April. One year from now, the experience may be a much - much - different one.

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