Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the Showcase of the Incorrigibles, Cewsh Reviews! Tonight we don’t just have A special treat for you, we have THE goddamn special treat, as we are here to review and bask in the glow of WWE Wrestlemania XXVI. Well we’re finally here, at the culmination of both the wrestling year, and our reviewing year. It’s been a long road, with ups and downs, things that were Ian Rotten, and things that were Beautiful People, and here we stand, in year two of Cewsh Reviews, and going strong, ready to celebrate and culminate the wrestling world as a whole on this biggest of nights.
But yeah, yeah, yeah, we’re awesome, blah blah blah. Let’s get to the fucking show, shall we? This is one of the most ridiculously stacked cards in recent memory (possibly in ANY memory) and all three of us are dying to dig our teeth into it. What will we think about Shawn/Taker? What will Vice think of having to watch John Cena wrestle Batista? Will Ms. Cewsh attack the screen when Kofi comes on (and when Randy Orton comes on for a very different reason?) There’s only one way to find out, kids. And damned if we won’t try to make it fun along the way.
Also, Vice’s Awards are back. Yeah, you heard me. This is THE SHIT right here. So without any further ado, let’s do a motherfucking Wrestlemania review!
Vice: Fantasia sings the National Anthem. Whoop-di-doooooooooooo.
Sounded terrible, too. Seriously, they couldn't have gotten anyone better? Or at least slightly more relevant?
Cewsh: Not without actually having to spend money, I’d bet. Fantasia probably did it for $10 Monopoly dollars and a ham sandwich.
Ms.Cewsh: Oh wow, I'm very impressed with the set tonight. I don't think I've seen an outdoor PPV before, but it really adds something to the event. And I love the big ass monitors.
Cewsh: I’d honestly like to take a second to thank those production dudes for the fantastic goddamn job they do with this stuff, the sets, the video, the pyro, the lighting, all of it. We never get to see them doing their jobs, so I don’t even know who to thank specifically, but these guys bust their asses and without them, these shows and matches wouldn’t have an ounce of the excitement and aura around them that they do. Damn fine work guys and gals. Damn fine work.
Vice: Man does Miz look like a fucking star with all that gold. To nitpick as I always do, I think his US title should have been around his waist with the tag titles in hand.
I really hate the team of Morrison and R-Truth. Mainly because I hate them both; especially R-Truth. I was happy to see Miz and Morrison kick the match off, even if the two were only in the ring for like 20 seconds before Truth got tagged in. In clearly what is the best thing about the match, Morrison goes for the Starship Pain, and Big Show grabs Miz by the ankles and just drags him out of the ring with so much force that Miz just crashes down onto the ground in ragdoll fashion. It was just fun to see. Finish is pretty groovy too, but overall a ridiculously short match to kick the show off. In terms of the match, I'm actually not miffed at all about the length, because it was something I didn't give a hoot about. That said, kicking the show off with that match was weak sauce.
Ms. Cewsh: Miz's coat is sexy. You can barely see it under all the gold. Great look.
Really good, quick opener. Morrison and Truth both get to showcase their athleticism, Show gets to toss Truth around like a rag doll, and Miz gets a win at his inaugural Mania. Nothing to complain about, even if it was too short to be great.
72 out of 100.
Cewsh: I do have to say this, despite the fact that this match wasn’t exactly the blow the doors off opening match I might have hoped for, R-Truth absolutely did get the crowd on their feet during his entrance, so sending him out first was a fantastic idea. As for everybody else, well there’s noon in this match that I don’t really like, so it’s not like I’m going to turn my nose up at them all being in a match for me to watch, but I really don’t know what any of them are doing here. Would anyone really rather see this than, say, Miz vs. Morrison for the United States title? Maybe that’s just me.
The match is fine, and entirely serviceable for an opener. But I forgot about it before it was even over. Onward to more interesting things!
70 out of 100.
Cewsh: Ah the breakup of a prominent stable. Is there anything for pleasing than watching a once proud group of men who had built a great organization see it all come crashing down? I think not. Legacy, from the day it was founded, was born to end. While they were together they did a lot of really great stuff and there were lots and lots of truly great matches had by all, but this whole stable was designed to get Cody and Ted over, and inevitably that was going to happen when one or both of them turned on their teacher and brought him back down to earth.
Of course, I don’t think any of us expected Randy fucking Orton to be the face during all of it. That says a lot for just how good Randy has been at being an evil fuck, since the crowd eventually just thought he was too awesome to boo anymore, whereas Cody and Ted have done such a great job establishing themselves as heels, that they have proved to be the perfect foil for Randy’s sort of kind of face turn. It’s weird and it’s unexpected, but hey, it works.
The match here was exactly right for what it needed to be. Rhodes and Dibiase both get to shine, showing that they are future superstars in the making, and were inevitably undone mostly by their inability to work together, and Randy looks like the main eventer he is by fending off both men, and ultimate coming out definitively on top. Everybody looks fantastic, Randy is crazy, crazy over, and now the whole thing can be over and done with and everyone can move on better off for the experience. Works for me.
80 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval.
Ms.Cewsh: Oh my God, Randy. Randy Randy Randy Randy. I'm incoherent with desire.
For some reason, when I think Legacy, I think shit in the ring. I can't figure out why, because they've generally scored well with me. They didn't blow me away tonight, or anything, but they were consistently good. Randy, however, is great. I love him doing his little drop move on both of them at once. I love him acting all remorseful doing the RKO dance, before going for the Punt.
I love his win. I love this blow off. I'm so very happy.
89 out of 100.
Vice: Cody has the most ridiculous looking attire ever. Such a silly combination of colors, and the lack of knee pads still irks the piss out of me. You could send him back to the 70's and make him a jobber with a fitness instructor for the elderly gimmick and he'd fit in perfectly.
He's ridiculously sound, in a technical way. Good wrestler, him. Aside from the fact that he was like 3 seconds too late with the High-Low.
It's really amazing how completely out of place Orton looks around Ted and Cody.
This match was a heck of a lot better than I thought it would be, and quite possibly better than it had any right to be, but a Wrestlemania match it did not feel like. So far, match-wise, it's felt like one of those good RAWs.
Cewsh: Vickie Guerrero is backstage with her team for tonight’s match, and she is very excited about competing in her very first Wrestlemania match. To commemorate the occasion she invites Jillian on to sing about how great she is. This doesn’t last long before Santino randomly wanders in with a Slim Jim. Santino reminds us that anything is possible when you bite into a Slim Jim, and to prove this he takes a bite and Jillian suddenly transforms into Mae Young. She tries to stick her tongue down his throat so he bites again and it turns into Gene Okerlund in Jillian’s dress. Santino quickly bites again and now it is Melina, who winks suggestively at the camera, says that anything can happen and takes Santino to the dressing room so that they can have some wild sex together.
Slim Jim: A One In Three Chance Of A Hot Chick Is Still Good Odds.
Vice: Do people still find Santino funny?
- It’s really rad that the briefcase is hanging down from that crazy circular screen thingy, instead of from some random cord. It makes it look like they have to climb the whole set to get it.
- KOFI’S HAIR! Jesus god, I don’t know if that is traditional or what, but he is actually going to outdo Rey Mysterio for looking insane on this show. Which is goddamn impressive.
- I heart Evan Bourne. He has as much chance of winning this as I do of finding the Holy Grail and finding out that it’s really a recipe for great chili, though.
- There are wayyyy too many fucking people here. It’s like a goddamn convention.
- This match would be entirely more fun if they all brought their own ladders to the ring, and could only win if they climbed their own ladder. They could decorate them and all. It’d be festive.
- Swagger getting squished in between all the ladders and Kofi Kingston trying to stilt walk his way to the briefcase on two halves of a broken ladder were such awesome spots. I can’t believe they keep coming up with new stuff like that time after time.
- Wow, I would never have expected Jack Swagger to win this match, that really took me by surprise. At this point with the Money in the Bank winners I won’t even bother to guess what it is that he’ll do with it, but damn that’s exciting for him. I just feel bad for poor Christian, I really thought this was his night.
This wasn’t nearly the best Money in the Bank match in Wrestlemania history, but just because we’ve seen better in the past doesn’t make this match anything less than a ton of fun. Some guys (Kane, Evan Bourne, Kofi Kingston) brought their A game and really shined here, while others (Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin) really might as well have not been here at all. All in all though, it was a fun match, and it definitely got the crowd’s attention, as car crashes are known to do.
81 out of 100.
Cewsh's Download Seal of Approval.
Vice Notes: Savannah instantly made it onto my list of people I want to make love to, but she is a terrible announcer. Women should not be announcers.
Striker makes a mention that Shelton Benjamin has been in every MITB match. That's kind of sad in a way. He's never risen up and gotten to the next level (ie: something better to do) since the match type came about. Sure this match is more or less made for a guy like him, but it shows how WWE looks at him.
(Cewsh Note: Striker lied, Shelton had been in every Money In The Bank Match but one.)
I'm not going to lie and say this wasn't a fun match. It was. I enjoyed the mindless nature of it, and seeing everyone get killed. I wasn't exactly a huge fan of the idea for 10 people to be in this match, and I actually thought it was great for the first few minutes. But as the match went on, the more I wanted it to be fewer people. So many people were knocked out for long periods of time that I'd seriously forget they were in the match. McIntyre would run back in the ring and I'd be like "whoa! forgot about him!". People that didn't even take huge bumps ended up being gone for quite some time.
I swear McIntyre, Swagger, Shelton, Bourne and Ziggler only had like two spots each. Cool spots, but not much from them. Oh yeah, and Swagger won the damn thing. I had completely forgotten that he was in the match about 30 seconds before he pulled the briefcase after struggling with it for 27 seconds. I do wish they'd go back to fewer people and make it a more intimate affair, focusing less on ridiculousness, because they're just killing off all the ladder spots imaginable. But they're still fun.
There were some crazy spots throughout the match that I enjoyed. I absolutely loved Kofi using the broken ladder halves as stilts, the Swagger sandwich involving 3 ladders, and Bourne's shooting star. Plus a few others, of course. Good solid fun, it was.
Swagger winning was a hell of a surprise. You'd think they'd have capitalized on him when he was over and looking like he'd be the next big thing. But now he's kind of a nobody and he's let his body go quite a bit. Did you see his gut poking out of his singlet? I'd be curious to see it bare. And then I'd have it challenge Matt Hardy's to a contest. But still, Swagger has tons of potential and it was good to see a guy like him get the win. Last year I'd have said shell yeah to him getting the title, but this year not so much. I'd like to see him be the first person to cash it in and lose. It needs to happen eventually.
Ms.Cewsh Notes: I'm not really pleased that they took this match to 10 guys. It's too many, the spots are hard to follow, and a lot of these guys don't really add anything to the match.
Despite that, it's still MITB and I base my years around how much I want to see this match.
Christian and Matt's battering ram spot was sick. Poor Swagger. Poor Matt. Poor Christian. Poor, poor, POOR Evan.
We had a friend come over to watch the show with us. She's a HUGE old-school Kane mark. It was so funny to see how excited she was, and her enthusiasm made me appreciate him. I was wrong about him not having value anymore, he really looked great tonight.
Kofi stilt walks to the case. Even I can't deny it was impressive, but it made me happy that Drew knocked him over.
Holy shit, Swagger? Really? NO ONE called that, but it's certainly not a bad choice. It's only a shame that he botched getting the case down. Kind of killed the tension. Still, I have no objections, except that we could've had this same match sans MVP and Shelton and it wouldn't have changed a bit.
81 out of 100.
Vice: Wait a tick. Triple H.. at Wrestlemania.. and NOT in a title match? Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
It's kind of ridiculous to think about, but it's true. It's good. He doesn't need another title match, and Sheamus, just by getting in the ring with his workout buddy... er.. opponent.. Triple H, it gives him a hell of a rub. I can't see Sheamus sticking around for a number of years and becoming a huge name or anything, but he's becoming a solid talent for WWE to have possession of. I'd also like to point out that Sheamus is so incredibly white that he makes Triple H look black. Triple H is way too dark anyway, but bloody hell does it really show here. I really want to see #ffffff Sheamus take on #000000 R-Truth just to see the difference in color, just like it's always fun to see someone like Hornswoggle go up against a guy like Khali.
This match was not epic or great by any means, but it was very fundamentally sound. It was just a good wrestling match that did good things for both men involved. Triple H was very good here, and made Sheamus look like a million bucks. Sheamus kept up and played his role perfectly. I didn't have high hopes going into this match, but they definitely exceeded my expectations.
I don't think I'd ever want to watch it again, but for what it needed to accomplish, it was a perfect match.
Ms.Cewsh: Eh, the match is perfectly fine. If it had been the second main event on a lesser PPV, I probably would have even said it was good. It just wasn't very exciting, compared to the rest of the show.
They're both more than capable in the ring. The moves all look good. Trips does a good job of making Sheamus look like a total badass, before ending the match out of nowhere. Again, not bad. Just not the caliber of the show.
65 out of 100.
Cewsh: A lot of times, on shows like this, matches that are full of excitement and emotion get all the attention when the show first airs, because the grip you and you remember them and they’re all you can think about. When you look back at the show, eventually those memories are really all that you remember, which is why people don’t remember any of Tito Santana’s Wrestlemania matches, but they remember all of the Undertaker’s. But on big long cards like this where the excitement can really burn out the crowd and thrown off the show, sometimes you just need a solid, well wrestled match of a substantial length to bring you down to earth so that they can fire you right back up.
In case you couldn’t tell, I’m referring to this match when I say that, because that’s exactly the purpose it served. Right smack in the middle of the show, these two have a great and simple contest here that the crowd ate up eagerly. It was a fantastic bookend to the fast paced excitement of the first hour to calm the fans back down, and both of these guys look like champs as Sheamus dominates for most of the match, while Triple H does everything he can to put him over. Sheamus looks like a beast for bullying Triple H all the way through the match, Triple H looks like….Triple H for pulling out the win despite it with his wily veteran tactics. Everything was just solid and good.
You may not remember this match right now, with everything else still so vivid in your mind. But scoop this show up 5 years from now. I think this match will pleasantly surprise you.
80 out of 100.
Cewsh's Download Seal of Approval.
Cewsh: Now this match has interesting written in big bold letters all over it.
CM Punk, who has been tirelessly leading his band of misfits as their messiah and leader now has the opportunity to force Rey Mysterio to join the Straight Edge Society with a win here, which would not only add a new member to his army, but also be able the most humiliating thing imaginable for Rey to have to endure (bonus!) Rey, for his part, wanted a Street Fight to kick Punk’s monkey loving ass ass over Phoenix, but he’s having to settle for a normal match, and rather than simply tear into Punk, he has to be more careful, because with one slip he could become Punk’s glorified slave. Of course to me that’s not such a bad thing, but different strokes for different folks.
As per the custom of his awesomeness, Punk cuts a promo on the crowd on the way to the ring, getting them riled right the fuck up and getting them in Rey’s corner automatically. Which is good, because THIS year Rey has elected to pay homage to the movie Avatar by getting the colors wrong, and randomly stapling a braid of hair to his mask. That’s sort of like if I wanted to pay homage to Weekend At Bernie’s (for some reason), and choose to dress up like Betelgeuse because he was also a dead guy. But hey, at least the crowd is into Rey.
These two got started, and I expected them to launch into an awesome match, like the ones I’d seen them have before, but somehow it just didn’t come together here. Maybe it was because of the lack of time that they got (about 7 minutes), perhaps it was that Rey’s offense loses its luster more and more every day. Maybe it’s simply because these two and Punk especially, deserve MORE. But we didn’t get it here. All we got is a shadow of the match that they could have had, and the very first truly disappointing moment of the night.
74 out of 100.
Ms.Cewsh: This is another match that I just wasn't really looking forward to. I really don't like Rey, but I can't see him losing and joining the SES. Their whole feud has seemed kind of thrown together for me.
Still, the match was pretty good, until the end. I enjoyed the way Serena and Luke worked at ring side. I LOVED Punk catching Rey when he went for the stupid 619. There were good spots and some storytelling. All in all, I liked it.
Until a 5'2” 35 year old, with shot knees and no momentum, went over one of the biggest up-and-coming stars with a terrible, contrived move that no one buys or pops for anymore. Boo.
61 out of 100.
Vice: When will wrestlers learn to not get their families involved in wrestling? Every time they bring their wife or kids into the building, something happens to them. Sure it creates a good bit of drama, but it just makes the wrestlers look like fucking idiots. Then again, if you are a face you are automatically 189% dumber and stronger, just like you are 189% more intelligent and cowardly if you are a heel. With very few exceptions.
Before I talk about the match, I want to say right now that CM Punk is God. I'm so glad that WWE saw so much in him and have gotten a shitload of use out of him. His SES stuff is incredible. Best mic worker in WWE? I think so.
Rey still irritates the shit out of me with his retarded antics and how every single match of his revolves around him hitting an idiotic move that needs to be set up in such dumb, contrived ways. He's good at getting a ton of sympathy and taking a beating, but every bit of his offense makes me want to kill kittens. Also, he always has dumb Wrestlemania costumes. Last year he rocked The Joker because The Dark Knight was the hot thing, and it looked like a joke gone wrong. Now that Avatar is/was such a hot thing, guess what he is dressed up as. Man does he look stupid, too.
The match wasn't bad by any means, but it was just horrendously underwhelming and disappointing. That's all there really is to say about it. I wasn't expecting a five star match of the year or anything, but it just felt like a Smackdown match.
I like Punk's GI Joe attire because it fits with his Cobra tattoo, but it looked very out of character for him for some reason. Though after thinking about it a bit, it makes sense for him to be wearing it in this match. Avatar was about the military forcing themselves on the Na'vi, much like GI Punk wants Rey'vi to join the Straightedge Society. But if they did that on purpose, it's kind of silly.
Cewsh: Okay, I said that Mysterio/Punk was disappointing, right? Right. That match was Christmas Day all Bill Gate’s house compared to this match.
To start, Bret Hart comes to the ring, ready for the match that was agreed to with Vince. However Vince comes out onto the stage with a microphone and declares that he has bought some help for the match, and he found a guest referee and some lumberjacks. The guest referee is Bruce Hart, Bret’s brother, and the lumberjacks are Bret’s entire extended family, still in their fancy dresses and suits from the Hall of Fame ceremony. Bret looks sad about this, and the Hart family looks positively delighted to be screwing him over.
Unfortunately for Vince, though, when he gets in the ring, Bret grabs the mic and reveals that his family has actually expected to double cross VINCE and that even though he paid them, they’re going to side with Bret anyway. Bret then proceeds to beat up a defenseless Vince McMahon for about 17 hours, stopping occasionally to throw him to the lumberjacks outside so that they can set about him or, more accurately, flee in startlement and help not one iota. This does involve one cool spot where David Hart Smith holds up Vince so that Tyson Kid can give him the Hart Attack from the top rope to the floor. Then Bret sits in a chair for awhile, watching Vince struggle on the ground, before teasing the Sharpshooter about 80 times and then finally locking it in, making Vince tap immediately, and marking the incredibly anticlimactic ending of this match.
So yeah, this match was garbage, but the oddest thing was that it wasn’t his fault. Bret’s part was clumsy at points and not virtuoso, but compared to everyone else, he was a goddamn superstar. The family had no idea what to do, Bruce as the ref blocked all kinds of camera shots due to inexperience, and the worst part of the entire match was Vince who, after years of surprising us in matches thanks to his great character work and dramatic selling, simply brought nothing to this match whatsoever. His selling was bad, his charisma was nonexistent. It’s like everybody phoned this one in.
I wish I had gotten the call too so I could have known to not get my hopes up.
56 out of 100.
OK, this match isn't for me. I'm too new for Bret Hart or any of the drama surrounding the Hart family. To me, this makes no sense. Why would Vince buy the Harts? Why would the Harts do a double cross after Vince bought them? Why would the first several minutes of the match involve the Hart Dynasty, not Bret, wrestling? It's not a match, it's an angle, letting everyone who holds Vince accountable for the Screwjob have a nice revenge fantasy.
It makes for a pretty terrible match if you're not one of those people. Still, Vince is pretty hardcore to take THIRTEEN chair shots.
40 out of 100.
Vice: I'm just going to say this right now, because I'm not going to dance around saying this. This was fucking awful. Completely terrible in every way imaginable. I know that Bret had his career ended ages ago, suffered a stroke and generally isn't the best of shape, so he's not going to be having a match on the level of his Wrestlemania match with Steve Austin right here with Vince. I wasn't even really expecting much of a match to begin with-- maybe like 4-5 minutes of Bret beating up Vince in a feel good moment.
The second Vince brought out the Hart family, it was the most obvious thing in the world that Vince was fucking himself over. Isn't Vince supposed to be smart? Yet here he is being the biggest idiot this side of Konnan at Triplemania. If you don't know what I'm talking about, perhaps you should read the review we did! Nudge nudge. Anyway, this was all just done so wrong.
It went on for-fucking-ever, and nobody really gave that much of a shit about it. How I see it, there are two simple ways they could have gone about doing this all. First one is something much simper, with it just being Vince and Bret, with Bret kicking the crap out of Vince for a few minutes, eventually knowing him out. Then he applies the Sharpshooter for the tapout victory. Or even have Vince unconscious so Bret can yell "RING THE BELL!". Or, have Bret reveal that the Hart Family is in on it, and have the entire family just dogpile Vince and ruin him 3 seconds later, followed up by a sharpshooter. This just went on way too long and was incredibly dull.
I don't care how limited Bret is in the ring. After so many years and this being his first match in WWE since 1997, this should have been huge and satisfying, much like my cock. The one I have in my dreams, anyway. But this was about as exciting as a main event in IWA:MS featuring Ian Rotten and Viper.
Gotta say though, it's good to finally see a great looking sharpshooter. It doesn't seem like that hard of a move to do, yet everyone else's is a complete joke.
Ms.Cewsh: Edge's entrance = greatness. They've been a little...ordinary this year, so I'm pleased that Edge's was nice.
I know a lot of people hate this feud for the build, but I kind of like it. They weren't tag team partners or great friends for so long that I'd expect them to build the feud over that. The Spear is an iconic move and it's fun to chant. Why not?
Speaking of the chant, thank God for it. It woke up a totally dead crowd.
The match is quite good, but I had a little trouble getting into it because of the dead crowd. Once they woke up, I felt a lot better about the whole thing. I even like the end, because the feud clearly isn't over.
77 out of 100.
Post match: I loved the Spear off the table.
Gave the fans the Spear they wanted to see, Jericho retained, and we'll get a tables match at Extreme Rules or something. Plus crazy Edge is hot and fun to see.
Cewsh: I sat at the computer for a long time trying to figure out what to say about this match, and I found it really hard. Ordinarily this sort of thing just kind of flows naturally, but when it comes to this match I was really drawing a blank. I couldn’t figure out why this was until I realized that the main reason is that I couldn’t remember one single thing about this match before the Spear after the match was over. So I watched it again and then one more time, and you know what? I felt exactly the same.
This match suffered from a number of crippling problems. The crowd was 100% dead after the Bret/Vince debacle, which meant that all of Edge’s offense came off super flat, Edge is clearly still a little bit rusty in the ring, and may be struggling with trying to adapt to being a main event face when he has no experience in it, and Chris Jericho, for all his skills and bright points, has proven to me over the years that when someone who is hurt or is lacking in some way needs to be carried, he isn’t the guy for the job. It didn’t work with Triple H in 2002, it didn’t work with John Cena at Survivor Series in 2008, and it just doesn’t work here. Chris Jericho isn’t someone who can have an entire match by himself. He needs a strong foil to be at his best, and Edge either wasn’t ready or wasn’t capable of providing that.
Ultimately, it really is a shame that so much conspired against these guys here, because I think that at another time in another way they could have a great match together. But that night was not tonight, and that place was not here.
73 out of 100.
Vice: atnumbers wanted me to mention that this is how Jericho's Wrestlemania 18 should have played out. Going up against a big returning star that is coming into the match as a challenger via Royal Rumble victory, and not being in the main event. And Jericho helping their crippled asses to a solid match. Rock/Hogan really should have gone last that night, as Jericho and Triple H's match suffered horrendously because of going after it. I think there was more to that, but it's 6:53am as of now, and I just can't remember. So he will explain things if you ask him, I'm sure. SEE AT? I LISTENED TO YOU.
I still feel like Edge was rushed back way too quickly, and he really, really, really, really sucks as a face. Everything about him screams heel. Heel facial expressions. Heel mannerisms. Heel look. Heel personality. Everything heel. Yet he is face. And it sucks. His spear is downright horrible too, even though that's common knowledge. I don't know how he's allowed to keep using it and building a match/feud around one of the weakest looking moves in wrestling today. Rey Mysterio having a knockout punch for a finisher seems like it'd almost be more credible.
This was a solid match, but I wouldn't call it anything special. For a title match at, say, uh, one of their PPVs without gimmick matches for the main events (are there any left?), this would have gotten the job done just fine. But at Wrestlefuckingmania, this just doesn't cut it for a title match. Enjoyable, but that's about it.
Jericho picking up the win was a bit of a surprise, and I enjoyed it. Last Sunday in TNA-land I was rooting for Doug Williams to retain, and was elated to see Jericho retain here. "Ridiculous" is all I have to say.
The post-match stuff was kind of neat. Edge flipped his shit and gave Jericho a disgusting spear off the announcer tables. But that brings me to a little rant I'd like to make about how spots are set up. See, to me that spot was just illogical. If you're laid out on a table, wouldn't you just.. I dunno.. roll off it? Why would you stand up on top of it? But that's just me nitpicking the shit out of things. It's wrestling. It was enjoyable. I enjoyed it. I don't have any real complaints.
Well, maybe that the feud will continue, but whatever.
Ms.Cewsh: *sigh* WWE, why do we have to do this? I've been really, really nice to you lately. Now you're going to make me say mean things.
This is Team Beth. Why are they playing Eve's music? Goddamn it.
I love Vickie, but I do not want her to wrestle. Ever. Like seriously now.
OK, seriously, what the hell? Not a single person tagged in after Michelle ran in on Vickie. The ref was clearly doing the 5 count, but never threw anyone out. He TOLD MICHELLE TO LEAVE, and then...
FFOIPLSFUDI[DFIKASDJisjl'[sjfpjeS]JL[IOSJ A FUCKING “HOG” SPLASH? I SWEAR TO GOD WE'RE GOING TO FUCKING GO COLE, COME ON. THIS IS BULLSHIT. I'M SICK OF DEFENDING THIS FUCKING COMPANY. JUST FUCK OFF AND DIE.
Seriously?! Seriously! No. Bad WWE. No treats for you.
14 out of 100.
Vice: This was one of the worst matches I've ever seen. It was just a silly segment with Vickie, and then everyone hit their finishers on each other in a sloppy way, followed up by Vickie Guerrero "hog"splashing Kelly Kelly (who was knocked DEAD a few minutes earlier). To make things even worse, Vickie completely messed up a PIN. Yes, a PIN. She gets to 2.5, messes it up, thinks she has it won, then kinda flops on Kelly's corpse a few times before McCool has to yell "STAY ON HER" until the ref gets to 3, finally. Then as Vickie gets up to celebrate, you get a hint of thong. Just thought I'd point that out.
But let's not get off topic here. Jesus fuck this was an abomination of a "match". This was just embarrassing on so many levels. Yeah, I'm generally not high on women's wrestling, but this match was just booked so utterly poorly. They deserve better than this, as painful as it is to say.
Cewsh: My fellow reviewers have claimed that this match is bad. This match is not bad. It is fucking miserable. This is the single worst thing that has happened physically inside of a WWE ring during a Wrestlemania. That is not a misprint, nor is it an exaggeration; I well and truly think that this is the single further low that WWE has ever sunk to in terms of presenting us with something under the guise of a wrestling match, that is frankly a goddamn debacle. Every move was botched, the match had no purpose, nobody knew what to do, it was over in a flash and every single woman who participated in this match looks worse for having done so. They virtually killed the entire WWE women’s division in this one match.
And the worst fucking part is that people just accepted it as par for the course. That’s fucking pathetic and so was the match. Just absolute fucking garbage.
11 out of 100.
Segment 11 – WWE Heavyweight Championship – Bat(shit Insane)ista © vs. John (Got A Christmas Card From Vice) Cena.
Cewsh: I loved this match.
Hold on, I have to dodge a punch from Vice.
Okay, yes, I loved this match. In fact, I FUCKING loved this match. Everything about it, from the build up that made complete and total sense, with Batista being jealous of John Cena’s role of the figurehead of the WWE, to his willingness to do whatever he felt like doing to please himself and to prove he was the better man, it all just flowed from a very real and understandable place, and as a result the match started off right from the get go with an unmistakably fantastic atmosphere.
The people were buzzing the second these two men entered the ring, and that’s another thing I loved about it. John Cena and Batista saved this show. If they had put Bret/Vince on before Michaels/Taker, it would have murdered that match dead, because without an excited and lively crowd, you can never pull off the level of complex emotion necessary to tell their story. So instead of that they put Cena and Batista on before it, two men who, regardless of how you feel about them, make you REACT in some way. It wasn’t long into this match before the fans stopped sitting on their hands and came to life again, and I would hate to think what might have happened to the end of this show if they hadn’t.
The match was quality as well, though not either man’s best work, as they both ripped into each other explosively and effectively, which was exciting to watch, and then proceeded to no sell everything, which was less so. Batista turned in a surprisingly good performance by being the guy who did most of the actual selling and story telling here, because John Cena didn’t seem particularly interested in those two avenues of thought. Still, it was a back and forth contest that I enjoyed quite a bit, and at the end, when Batista finally had to tap out and concede that on this night John Cena was the better man, and Cena sprinted out to go rub it in the faces of the people in the front row who had come to hate on him, I couldn’t help but crack a grin. He never sells, he’s bland as hell, I hate him as champion and his merchandise it awful. But fucked if I can’t help loving John Cena.
God help us all, the Champ Is Here.
86 out of 100.
Cewsh’s Seal of Approval.
Ms.Cewsh: I don't love either of these men, although heel Bats is causing me to change my mind. I also don't love their styles. Still, the crowd is so into this match, there's no way not to get caught up in it.
It isn't the greatest match. I really can't tell you anything about it, or any spots they do. The callback to Summerslam is good. The end sucks. Cena can't sell. It's still hard not to like it.
81 out of 100.
Vice: It must be said that the video package for this match was fucking great. Everything it needed to be.
Batista is out first, which irritates me. The champ should cgme out second, but you have to make room for Cena's next terrible Wrestlemania entrance. Look, he played a marine in a movie. A really bad movie. And it was years ago. He's not a marine, so this whole saluting bullshit needs to go. It's all fucking retarded. When 12 Rounds came out, shouldn't have he become a cop? I guess that's not patriotic enough.
Having said all that, I actually was looking forward to match quite a bit. Cena and Batista are massive names that haven't wrestled a bajillion times like most top games, and 5 years ago is when they both cemented themselves as stars of the company and have been taking faces ever since. So this is pretty damn epic and OH WAIT IT INVOLVES CENA.
Fuck this match.
But on a more serious note, fuck this match. There was a ton of great shit in here, but Cena was a fucktard with his selling. I know that by now I've beaten the "Cena is a massively shit seller" dead horse into oblivion, but it's true. Batista is working over John Cena's neck because he broke it before, and John Cena wisely starts HEADBUTTING Batista. And not I'm about to die/last ditch effort headbutting. HEADBUTTING. He can be a great worker, has all the tools he will ever need to be phenomenal, but can be utterly fucking clueless in the ring when it comes to many things. Yet somehow he gets a free pass for all of this, and I get called a heretic for pointing it out. Whatever.
Batista is awesome, Cena is a gay. When it comes to who should be the face of WWE of these two, I'd totally vote Batista. He dresses better, doesn't look like an idiot, doesn't make poop jokes on talk shows, has awesome sunglasses and suits, and is just more awesome than Cena will ever be.
I did like the finish of the match (KIND OF), because it went along with the feud in a way. Batista hung on as long as he could, but when he realized he had lost, he did that nice, slow "goddammit...." tap out instead of the typical heel "EEYGAHEAAAYYYYY THIS HURTS!!!" quick slamming of the hand tap out. It was more than just a match for Batista. It was more than just losing his title. He lost his pride and made that clear.
The part of the finish I didn't like was, of course, John Cena winning the title, which is about as predictable as the sun setting in the evening. And, while not nearly as bad as previous title wins, he pretty much shrugged off the damage and exhaustion of a long match against a war mech like Batista, and smiled and frolicked around like a fairy.
Yay Batista though. Great performance from him. It's amazing how legitimately good he's been able to perform over the years. When he first came in, he was just a big dude that seemed like he'd be around for 3 weeks and forgotten about. With the right pairing, the right feud, a lot of luck, a lot of hard work, and he's become a great worker.
Cewsh: Hollywood couldn't have done it better.
Professional wrestling is a hobby, and not one that is particularly well thought of by the populace at large. It can brutal, bigoted, nonsensical, and childish in the same segment, and that's without grown men forcing their employees to physically kiss their ass or for a man to orgasm over getting the opportunity to wear another man's magic ring. Frankly, it can be a hard hobby to defend and a harder one to rationalize at times. Many of us (including at least one member of this review team) are so under pressure by the negative stigma around professional wrestling that they actually deny that they even enjoy it. So why, with all of the bad that comes with being a professional wrestling fan in America today, do we keep watching?
This is why. Moments like this.
The back story behind this match is a simple one, but has an infinitely deceptive depth to it. Simply put, Shawn Michaels wanted a rematch with the Undertaker. Now in a lesser program, this could have been accomplished by anything from Shawn stealing a mysterious urn of the Undertakers, or pretending to have sex with a mannequin dressed like the Undertaker's deceased ex girlfriend. But here the difference is that the Undertaker said no. In doing so he set a fire under Shawn Michaels that gained more and more momentum until it consumed him whole. He fed D-Generation X to that fire. He fed his friendship with Triple H to it. His pride, his morals, his perspective, all casualties to the all consuming obsession that the Heartbreak Kid developed in the wake of his loss to the Undertaker. All he wanted was just one chance to prove his worth. With a superkick that cost the Undertaker his World Heavyweight Championship at WWE Elimination Chamber, Shawn Michaels got that chance, but it had a hook in it as devilish as the need itself. If Shawn Michaels lost this match, he would have to retire from wrestling forever. The greatest and most definitive victim of the Undertaker's Wrestlemania dominance. But if he could somehow win, then he would go down in wrestling history as the man who did what could not be done. As the man who slayed the giant.
Flash back now to the career of Shawn Michaels. To the countless matches that defied any description save slack jawed awe, to the jokes that made you laugh, and the moments that made you hope. Here is one of the great performers in any industry that you may care to name, a true original made entirely of arrogance and grace. Think back now to the match with Stone Cold Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 14 that we were sure would be his last, as he retired in shame, broken inside and out. Think to when he made his triumphant return, reborn in every way possible to give us a whole new decade worth of memories. Shawn Michaels has come to represent everything there is to be loved about World Wrestling Entertainment and professional wrestling itself, blending skill and entertainment in equal parts to find his way into nearly all of our hearts. He is quite possibly the greatest wrestler ever to wrestle a match. And this match could be his last.
The entrances were simple. Shawn came down like it was any other night, shimmying his way to the ring as the crowd cheered his name. The Undertaker rose from the shadows in the darkness of the blacked out Phoenix night ready to fight.
When the bell rang, the crowd took a collective breath, and never got the chance to let it out. The Undertaker threw everything at Shawn Michaels, punishing him for the transgressions Shawn had to commit to simply be in this ring on this night, and he spared nothing in his desire to end the career of the only man who had ever had the gall to call him out so brazenly. Chokeslams, clothesline, punches, and a Tombstone Piledriver to the floor outside the ring that looked so brutal that the match could easily have ended right there. But Shawn Michaels concentrated on the leg of the Undertaker, injuring it thoroughly and rendering the Undertaker a hobbling shell of himself. And then, with both men injured and fearing the end, the real dance began. The next minutes blur together as each man gains and loses the advantage, trying new moves to put away the other for good.
The Undertaker hits a Last Ride, but Shawn Michaels lays him on the announce table and flies through the air with a picture perfect moonsault, landing on the Undertaker's injured leg and driving it and the both of them directly through the table. Michaels finally rolls the Undertaker into the ring and delivers an atomic bomb of a Sweet Chin Music superkick, nearly taking the Deadman's head off, yet even this is not enough to claim the victory. The Undertaker recovers slowly but eventually manages to answer with a devastating Tombstone, the second one in the match, and the move that ended Shawn's hopes last year, and yet even this is not enough to end him. At this point the Undertaker can only look on in disbelief as Shawn struggles to rise, climbing up the legs and chest of his adversary; his heart so willing to fight, but his body no longer able.
The Undertaker goes to signal yet another Tombstone with his signature throat slitting hand motion, but in mid motion he halts, looking down at his broken, but not yet defeated foe. And for the first time, we see the Undertaker sag.
He begs Shawn Michaels to stay down, his eyes saying that he has nothing left to give and is for the first time in his life uncertain about what to do. But this is Shawn Michaels' night, and he will not be a charity case. He performs the Undertaker's own throat slitting gestures to the shock of the Undertaker and then bitch slaps the Undertaker in the face.
After the match is finally done, the Undertaker, hobbling around something fierce, gets his 18-0 celebration for continuing the streak, and lifts Shawn up to his feet to shake the hand of his old friend. Shawn then receives a prolonged standing ovation from everyone in attendance, shaking hands as he leaves and memorably stating "My kids'll be sick of me in three weeks!" And then, with one last pose on the stage to remember him by, he was gone, and Jerry Lawler speaks for all of us as he says "Goodbye Shawn. We'll miss you."
Obviously this more than a simple match, so grading it is somewhat difficult. Despite my emotions possibly (no, definitely) clouding my ability to fully objectively view this match, what actually happened in the ring probably wasn't quite as good as their match last year, where their only job was to have a great match, which they emphatically did. This match was much more about each man trying to hit every finisher they knew in an attempt to finally end things and get some peace, and such single mindedness might have detracted from what really happened in the ring.
It MIGHT have, if the atmosphere, the fans, the story, and the performances of both men hadn't been as close to perfect as anything we're ever likely to know. The Undertaker, especially, put on perhaps the single greatest performance of his career, showing vulnerability and heart. I simply can't say enough for both men here. There's no doubt about it. If you haven't watched this match already then you are missing something once in a lifetime. If an 80 out of 100 is something you should download. And a 90 out of 100 is an award rarely given out due to its definitive stamp of quality approval, tell me. What does this score mean?
100 out of 100.
Cewsh's Platinum Seal of Approval.
Ms.Cewsh: I cannot do this match justice. I can't even try. When it comes to big matches like this, I'll leave the flowery poetry to my compatriots.
Some will remember that I liked this match last year, but I didn't love it. It was good, but it was missing something. What it was missing, was the real, genuine emotion of tonight.
The only critique that can possibly be made is a small production snafu, where the camera jumps to a shot of the ramp right after the Tombstone on the floor. That was the first time I considered the possibility of interference, and I'm really glad it was only a glitch. Shenanigans would have ruined the magic these men created in the ring.
Shawn's Moonsault through the table, oh my god. Heart in throat, stuff.
I can't even write about the rest. The end...I just stared in shock. I
I can't believe it, and I still haven't processed it. Shawn is just so iconic for me. He's one of the men who brought me into this hobby. I never get tired of watching him. And tonight, when he's in such better shape than Taker, still wrestling full time, he's leaving. I naively never let myself think that this could be his end. To signal his own end and then leave with nary a word, really, I'm devastated.
Thank you, Shawn.
98 out of 100.
Vice: I loved the entrances here. Last year it was all about mind games and Shawn being on the same level as Taker, so him descending from the heavens clad in white was not only pretty damn slick, but it made a good bit of sense. In terms of fancy, completely unnecessary but awesome ring entrances because you have way too much money to spend and think Wrestlemania is bigger than it really is, of course. This time around, Shawn isn't fucking around. He comes out with a normal entrance, which I loved. No games, no nonsense. Shawn is all business. Undertaker has a fairly simple (for him at Wrestlemania) entrance from him involving a platform lifting him up from beneath the stage. He also had a wicked outfit. His usual coat and the giant hat are all well and good, but he had a sleeveless coat and a fucking HOOD. Seriously, the dude looked like a bad motherfucker. I hope he keeps it, because going back to the giant hat is going to be one hell of a downgrade.
Moving on, though..
Here at Cewsh Reviews, I have a very tough job. See, I watch wrestling and review it. Most of the time I don't have many nice things to say about what's been presented to me. Sometimes, when it's a shit federation like IWA:MS, people go "ahahahhaa Vice that is funny! tell us more about how crappy everything was!", but when something is universally seen as perfectly brilliant, then that is when things get very tricky for me. See, my job is to tell you folks how I feel, but at the same time, my health insurance isn't very good. Cewsh does not provide me with health insurance, so all I have is a policy that covers catastrophic events. So while that does cover the pitchforks I've had rammed into my chest, it does not cover the rocks that people throw through my window which hit my head. It's just painful, so I please ask that you stop doing that. Also, it's even worse when you knock over my diet sodas. That's just dickish.
So why am I mentioning all of this right now? Oh right, because outside of a hot (...and cinematic...) ending, I thought the match was a sloppy pile of FINISHERZ dung compared to their previous encounters. Yeah, I said it. Sure it was a big match and wrestled in epic fashion and all that mumbo jumbo, but it didn't have that extra goodness to truly draw me into the match like last year. If there is one thing bad about their match from Wrestlemania 25, it's that it was too good. Better than their Hell in a Cell or other matches in '97? Debatable for sure. But that was a whole different time period and they were both entirely different people, which makes it impossible to compare properly. But this was the sequel, so yes, it can be compared quite well.
Their previous contest just had an epic aura to it, and they played off it perfectly. Perfect match, no, but it was perfect for what it was and what it could have been. This match had an epic feel going in and, well, I think that's about it as far as epic goes. Sure there was some good work amidst the 72 finishers on display, but all of it really took me out of the match big time. You can have a match with a lot of finishers if they're built to in such a great way, but when it's just finisherfinisherfinisher, then it gets kind of silly. Plus, I have said this before many times, I absolutely fucking hate that Shawn never kicks out at 2.9999999999 like he should. He always kicks out right after 2, so you never get those magical OH MY GOD HE'S DEAD THIS IS IT HOLY SHIT IT WASN'T OH MAN THIS IS GLORIOUS near falls. It doesn't matter if you give him a suplex one minute into a match or a tombstone after 30 minutes, he's kicking out at the same time every time. It's a minor complaint, but it really does annoy me a lot of the time.
The finish was all kinds of cool, and the thought of Michaels knowing he's defeated and more or less loading Undertaker's gun for him to finish him off was a great moment. However, it does lose points for being a touch too cinematic, a common complaint of mine with WWE's product. You can have a match that plays out realistically right until the very end, until it shifts into what looks like a Hideo Kojima (of Metal Gear Solid fame) cutscene, and I can almost see God of War style quick time events on my monitor as the finish is going on. Yes, it is COOL and I like what's going on, but I can't help but feel slighted that I don't get to be actually doing that stuff on my screen during those video game cutscenes, much like I'd almost rather them just do the finish naturally in the wrestling ring. This is wrestling, not a bloody Hollywood film starring Jack Bauer. But no matter how much I bitch, I know that the overproduction will not disappear for quite some time, if ever. But I'm going to beat my fists against the wall until I break all my bones and lose numerous pints of blood anyway. To quote Shawn Michaels, "why? ..because I can."
It was a great match, don't me wrong, and by far the best of the night, but it isn't a flawless match by any means. It was very entertaining, but if it didn't have the epic finish, I don't think everyone would be simultaneously jerking off over it as much as they are doing right now as I type this.
And since I'm sure all of you reading this are frothing with pure rage at my hurtful words, and since I have you on the ropes in such a manner, I'm going to hit you with my finishing move. The post-match stuff with the respect was great, and the send-off was pretty lovely too.. but...
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
Would it have hurt Michaels to sell death and the end of his career just a TINY bit more?
Cewsh: Man, talk about an up and down show. Wrestlemania XXVI will go down in Cewsh Reviews history as containing both the highest score I’ve ever given a match, and the lowest score I’ve ever given a match (that I graded fairly, and not out of sheer spite). In between was some good quality stuff, and a lot of matches that just plain missed the mark and were disappointing. Add that to the fact that they scaled back the elaborate ring entrances this year and the fact that the crowd was dead for a fourth of the show, and you have a tricky experience to describe.
But when I think back to this show, I think I’m going to have to try hard to remember the bad things. It’s going to be tough, because the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels is not only the match from this show I’ll remember, but it is a moment in time that I will never forget. Was it worth the whole show for that one match? Yes, it would have been. And luckily there was some other good stuff too. So one way or another, I got my money’s worth, and that’s all I need to know.
Ms. Cewsh: When I think back on this show, it will be a one match night. Taker/Michaels was so amazing and so emotional, the rest of the show pales in comparison.
Even without it, it would've been an above average show. The tag match was too short, but full of great athleticism. The Triple Threat was shockingly great. MITB was a bit of a botch-fest, but I didn't feel it really detracted. Really, except from the complete train-wreck of a Women's match, I'd have to say it was an amazing show.
Of course the Women's Match and Bret/Vince keep my score from reflecting that. Sometimes I hate averages.
Vice: Overall, this show was a bit of a letdown. On paper it was a giant show with oodles of potential. For the most part though, things just didn't quite click like they should have. It had one epic match in Undertaker/Michaels which was very special, and the rest of the show was either awful, a let down, or just standard PPV quality. If this was a regular show, this would have been stellar. But for a Wrestlemania with such a potentially ridiculous card, I can't help but feel like this is a massive disappointment.
Alright, that'll do it for us for this week and for this review year, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed our Wrestlemania blowout extravaganza as much as we did, and we hope you enjoyed certain parts of it considerably MORE than we did. Now, with Wrestlemania over and the wrestling world in America restarting for the year, Cewsh Reviews is going to take this opportunity to take a little vacation. We'll be back as just as good as ever just in time to cover TNA's Lockdown PPV in two weeks, and we'll be sure to keep you updated with Sunday Supplements and maybe even the occasional extra bonus Supplement here and there, so you don't feel the lack. We'll see you back here on the flipside, two weeks from now, or my name isn't Orvelle Reddenbocker.