Murphy Reviews WrestleMania 29

WrestleMania 29 - Photo Credit: WWE.com

WrestleMania 29 – Photo Credit: WWE.com

Now that I’ve had nearly 24 hours to digest what unfolded at WrestleMania 29, here are some random thoughts:
• The show itself was solid. Not sure I’d call it a classic, but it was very wrestling-focused, the matches told good stories and the fans had to be happy with many of the outcomes.
• The crowd didn’t blow my mind. Whether it was the outdoor venue, or the WWE’s audio, I just didn’t get the sense, at least watching it on TV, that it was an overly boisterous or loud crowd.
• Fandango vs. Chris Jericho was a little disappointing for me, personally. Jericho delivered, as always, but Fandango looked a little nervous, missing a few spots, perhaps the result of debuting that character, in ring, on the biggest stage of all.
• Feel badly for Brodus Clay and Tensai, who’s match with Rhodes Scholars was a victim of an overzealous card to begin with. Hopefully WWE makes it up to all the competitors. Fans were the real losers there.
• Miz defeating Barrett was a big surprise for me. The Miz is a solid talent, but Barrett has the makings of a World or WWE champ. Just thought the timing to be odd. Maybe it’s because I feel so strongly about Barrett.
• The main event was actually a great match. Cena and The Rock brought incredible energy to the ring, and laid it all on the line. I was impressed that they had, in my opinion, an even better match this time than last year. That said, it is awfully tough to come out on the heels of the Undertaker-CM Punk and Triple H-Brock Lesnar matches. So kudos for Cena and The Rock.
• Speaking of The Rock, his emotional reaction following the loss to Cena had me, and I’m sure countless others, wondering if we have again seen the last of the legendary superstar. Rock was nearly in tears following the match, his handshake and hug with Cena in the ring and again up on the ramp as he exited. Count me among those who truly hopes we haven’t seen the end of Rock’s run. Not only is he a moneymaker for WWE, a true talent and one of the most recognizable faces on the planet, but he’s extremely likable. Would be a shame.
• On the subject of emotion, The Undertaker showed a little, albeit briefly, following his win over CM Punk to extend his epic streak to 21-0 at WrestleMania. Perhaps it was his love and respect for the late Paul Bearer that got him a little teary-eyed.
• The Undertaker-Punk match was, in my opinion, the best of the night. It had it all. A strong rivalry, it was tense, a lot was on the line, and it was at times very entertaining wrestling. Sure Taker has lost a step or two, but it was barely noticeable thanks to Punk, who is in his own stratosphere in wrestling right now.
• The purple boots, using Undertaker’s moves, the stolen urn, the Undertaker gestures … CM Punk was a brilliant foe for Taker. And the fact that the Undertaker was on board with all of that, and using the late Paul Bearer in the buildup to the match, speaks volumes of the respect the Deadman has for Punk. Well done WWE and well done to the Undertaker and Punk. And rest in peace, Paul Bearer.
• Brock Lesnar is easily the most menacing and toughest SOB to ever set foot in a wrestling ring. He and Triple H absolutely punished each other, with Lesnar taking as much punishment, perhaps more, as the legendary Game. Many noted the silence of the crowd, wondering if the crowd even cared about this one. Don’t mistake the silence of shock for not caring. The crowd was silent BECAUSE it cared. The violent nature of this match was enough to make anyone sit in silence, jaw dropped, watching what was unfolding. In the end, it was a huge relief personally to see Triple H win and not be forced into early retirement.
• Jack Swagger’s run was a strange one. When it seemed he was poised to grab the World title and run with it, he gets into trouble with the law, then loses the match at Mania. Wonder where the big guy goes from here.
• Kane and Daniel Bryan put to end, emphatically I might add, any speculation that their alliance has run its course. They dominated their match, winning cleanly, and looked as good as any tag team in doing so. Will be fun to see where things go from here.
• Mark Henry and Ryback deserve a standing ovation. Those monsters gave us a power display that perhaps hasn’t been witnessed since Hulk Hogan scooped up the late Andre The Giant. Not only did Ryback get the giant Henry up on his shoulders for the Shell Shock, he did it TWICE. The ring nearly buckled when the giant Henry came crashing down. Would love to see this feud carry on a while longer.
• The sweet sounds of JBL commentating were the only thing that helped me get over the fact that Jim Ross wasn’t invited to call a match. JBL is amazing. But man, WrestleMania isn’t WrestleMania without good ole J.R.
• Respect The Shield. That is all.
• The set for WrestleMania was WWE’s best, by far. As much as I love the visuals, the live entrance music, the celebrities and all that, I do hope WWE puts the focus back solely on the matches for WrestleMania 30 next year in New Orleans. I just felt like not as much build was put into the matches this year. I wasn’t fully engulfed in the rivalries like I usually am. This was still a great event, and the superstars delivered. I just didn’t feel as emotionally invested as I usually do.

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