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OO PPV RECAP
WWE presents WrestleMania 28
April 1, 2012

by The Rick
Undisputed Lord and Master of OOWrestling.com

 

I wasn't planning on it, but my entire waking day today has been pretty much spent paying attention to stuff that's happening in Miami, FL. Which is odd, because usually there is nothing about Miami that I would find interesting, what with its sweltering weather, corrupt sports programs, shallow douches, vapid bimbos, and the shitty clubs (and even shittier music they play) that make it impossible to ever have a good time there...
 

But I digress. Point is, I rolled out of bed, and was pleasantly surprised to find a Yankee's exhibition game on MLB Network. The catch: it was actually being played at the new Miami Marlins' stadium, so the stadium itself was as much a feature as the game itself. So that was basically 4 hours right there.
 
Then there was WrestleMania, also in Miami. Counting the internet preshow (Colons retained the tag titles) and then pounding out this recap, that'll be almost 8 more Miami-centric hours. Wild. And even for the 90 minutes or so break I had in between the two, I'm pretty sure I spared more than a few of those on pondering the whole retarded Treyvon thing (and how people need to not make this a race thing, and should realize it's a total-dipshit-allowed-to-own-a-gun thing, more than anything else). That happened somewhere close to Miami, right?
 
Regardless, it's not why you called. You're here for the second half of my Miami Day. So here's what happened at the just-completed WrestleMania 28 pay-per-view:

  • Opening Montage/Pyro/Etc., and we're live in (duh) Miami, FL, where there do appear to be plenty of empty seats, but we are re-assured that the crowd is still filtering in (I had heard there were issues getting to/into the stadium, but I guess if Miami is home to the shallow douches, it could also just be a crowd wanting to be fashionably late). Lilian knocked out a dandy edition of "America, the Beautiful" that would have been dandier if not for the lame-ass, early-80s Casio5000 keyboard backing track. [I hereby declare it criminal that she only got the 2 minute song, and zero ring announcing duties. That dress (and my pants) deserved better.] And then we're kicking things off with a bang.
     
  • Sheamus beat Daniel Bryan to win the World Heavyweight Title (in 18 seconds). Both men hit the ring, and stand their corners for the boxing-style intros. Then Bryan makes a big show of getting his pre-match kiss from AJ. Then Bryan turns around and eats a Brogue Kick. It's over. Just like that. We're told the match lasted 18 seconds.
     
    I was not pleased with this. Not because of the basic idea of the utter humilation of Bryan... but because you have to build up to the moment. When I said I want Bryan to "honkey tonk" the title, I said it fully understanding that it might mean he'd lose the title "warrior style" at the end of the ride. But to do that Warrior ending, you first have to -- you know? -- HONKEY TONK THE TITLE. Which takes longer than 3 months. The boos Sheamus got (and the on-going "Dan Yil Bry Yan" chants throughout the rest of the night) indicate I'm not the only one who feels WWE miscalculated, although reading some emails and OO Forums posts, my indignation is slightly differently oriented. This isn't about "18 seconds on a 4 hour show" or about burying Bryan or anything else you'll hear from the wankers; this is a fitting end to Bryan's reign, says I, right down to the fact that he mocked Big Show for losing the World Title in a 43 second match, and now he's broken that record. But it just wasn't the fitting time to do it.

    I'm sure Bryan will continue to be entertaining in the fallout of his humiliating loss... but just imagine how much more entertaining it would have been if they'd waited to flip the switch in a spot where the fans would have devoured it, instead of being midly annoyed by it. Oh well...
     
  • Kane beat Randy Orton. Opening 7-8 minutes were just brutal, before a really good end game. Out of the gate, Orton's opening flurry gave way to a standard heel beatdown by Kane. Maybe even a substandard one, because he was using Randall's own moveset against him. Not one, not two, but THREE lengthy chinlocks. Crowd's completely dead, and justifably so. The only signs of life are a few very angry-sounding "Dan Yil Bry Yan" chants.
     
    But then things pick up for the final 3-4 minutes, when Orton's comeback starts by him dropkicking Kane in mid-air when Kane tries to hit his top rope clothesline. From there, it's a bit of back and forthy with near falls and reversals. Leads up to Kane hitting a chokeslam, but Orton kicks out. Kane is so frustrated, he decides to go up top to try again, but Orton catches him. Both men on the top rope, and Orton tries for a Superplex, but Kane counters. Top Rope Chokeslam! Sweet. And surprisingly, enough for Kane to score the clean, decisive victory.
     
    I'm guessing in the 12 minute range. And 2/3rds was bad, and 1/3 very good. So I guess that'll work out to "utterly tolerable."
     
  • Backstage: Santino and Mick Foley are with one of the captains from "Deadliest Catch" (that show's still on? apparently, since their first order of business is to plug it). But then, it's time to dig into the abundent feast of crab legs! The captain offers to show Santino and Mick proper technique, but they have other plans: out come the socks, and Socko and Cobra start pounding away on those puny shells. The captain's all "WTF?" so he starts dropping elbows on his crab legs. Then Ron Simmons walks by, and you can figure out the rest. Made me laugh.
     
  • Big Show beat Cody Rhodes to win the InterContinental Title. Could not have been more formulaic. But like I say: there's a reason a formula becomes a formula. Because it works. And these two used it to perfection. Show starts off all bull in a china shop for a minute. Then Cody chopblocks him and spends 4 minutes cockily pounding away on Show's left knee, since a giant is no giant as long as he's stuck down on the mat. Cody finally goes for the Beautiful Disaster kick, but Show tackles him out of mid-air. Sort of a spear, but also sort of landing on Cody's ballsac. Ouch. When Cody stands up, he eats a KO Punch, and it's all over. At 5-6 minutes, probably more of a free-TV match, but the "moment" of Show celebrating his first singles win at WM elevated it by a notch.
     
  • Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos beat Beth Phoenix and Eve. Again, pretty by the numbers here... Kelly got off to a hot start, and tagged in Maria to continue the offense. But after a "double stinkface" (or whatever you want to call it when it's not a sweaty 400lbs. Samoan sticking his ass in your face), Maria instantly crumbles to the mat in pain after the first time Beth touches her. Because she's got broken ribs and stuff. About 3 minutes of Face in Peril, but Maria's getting no sympathy from this crowd. She's getting another round of "Dan Yil Bry Yan" chants.
     
    Maria avoids Eve's standing moonsault and makes the lukewarm tag to Kelly. Pretty good house o' fire segment from Kelly, including a huge spinning leg scissors takedown and a nice front flipping seated senton. That last move takes a lot out of both women, so after Beth kicks out, the ref starts applying a 10 count. Both get up and start moving towards their corners, and tag out. [Maria can barely stand. It made no sense for Kelly to tag in somebody who was hurt worse than she was. But whatever.] It looks like Beth is going to destroy Maria with a gorilla press, but Kelly yanks Maria out of harm's way, then Maria shoves Beth into the ropes where she collides with Eve, and then Maria gets the cheap roll-up for the win. Whee.
     
    Probably around 8 minutes. Longer than Show/Cody, for sure. Maria is still undefeated against Beth. And with all due respect to her being a real wrestling fan, I don't think the other wrestling fans give a shit.
     
  • A Pause: to announce a new SunLife Stadium attendence record of 78,363. Also, a chance for me to glance at the clock and realize that it's not even 8:00, yet, and we've finished with 4 of tonight's 8 scheduled matches. Huh. Three hours for 4 matches? We'll see.
     
  • Undertaker beat Triple H in Hell in the Cell. There are actually SIX ring entrances, here. First, Jim Ross comes out. Actually, it's evil Bearded Spock Jim Ross, sporting a goatee (which Lawler calls a "van Gogh," because he's trying to be a stickler for details, but ends up looking like an even bigger ass, because the proper term is "van Dyke"; and also, everybody calls it a goatee, so STFU). Then, special ref Shawn Michaels. Then Triple H. Then Undertaker. Then, as part of a pre-match staredown, Undertaker's new haircut is revealed (a crew cut); no attention is drawn to the fact that Taker's also sporting a new belly. And finally, the Cell itself enters from above, and gets its own entrance music, to boot.
     
    All players assembled? Good, let's ride.
     
    Out of the gate, Triple H is treated to 5 straight minutes of getting his ass kicked. Just completely and thoroughly. Story is Taker's had a whole year to obsess over their last match, and this is the result. Everything is Taker offense, and the frew hope spots HHH goes for are completely no-sold by Taker, all to HUGE cheers. In the ring, out of the ring, into the steel cage,  it's all Taker, all the time.
     
    Until 6-7 minutes in, when HHH manages to hit a spinebuster onto the steel ring steps. Ouch. That results in the first cover of the match, and it's noted that it's the first time the announcers have had to mention Shawn Michaels' name (which is, admittedly, longer than I'd have expected that to take). The steel-assisted spinebuster only gets 2, so HHH decides he'll need help. So he goes for more steel, in the form of chairs. He grabs two, and needs both of them, because he starts wearing out Taker with rapidfire chairshots to the back and shoulders. Shawn, now actively involved, is telling HHH to stop being such a dick and just go for another cover. But HHH just drops the first chair (now warped and out of shape after being whacked across Taker two dozen times) and goes to work with the second chair.
     
    Shawn becomes more adamant that this isn't how to win, and HHH shoves him and hits more chairshots. Shawn interrupts again, saying HHH should just hit the Pedigree and make a cover. But HHH starts shouting that he's not pulling that wussbag act; he's doing what he has to do to "end" the Undertaker. That includes grabbing Sweet Lady Sledge and adding her to the mix. If Shawn wants HHH to stop, Shawn is gonna have to ring the bell. Now, Shawn's conflicted. He wants to protect Taker, but he doesn't want to end the Streak. The beating (and the drama/dialogue) continue for several minutes. It seems maybe a little overlong, possibly because the story is being told for the cameras (and the microphones) and the live crowd may not be "getting it" the same as us TV viewers. I dunno... not a huge complaint, though.
     
    This all builds up to Shawn actually starting to gesture (Broadly) that he's seen enough and is going to ring the bell. Taker yells at him not to, but Shawn's still getting ready to point at the timekeeper. So while HHH sits back waiting for the TKO win, Taker does the only logical thing: he stops Shawn from ringing the bell.... BY PUTTING HIM IN THE HELL'S GATE. Shawn turned back to Taker one last time, and bent down to looking into his eyes, and WHAM, Hell's Gate.
     
    This spurs HHH back into action, as he attacks Taker to save his buddy... but HHH ends up in the Hell's Gate, instead. HHH appears to lose consciousness, but there's no ref (Shawn is still slumped in the corner). Ref Charles "Li'l Naitch" Robinson sprints out and enters the Cell, so Taker quits pacing in frustration and plants HHH with a chokeslam. TWWWOOOOOOOOO!!! First convincing near fall of the match... and the only near fall that Robinson will count, because Taker's frustrated over this whole "I should already have won" issue, and he chokeslams Robinson.
     
    Now, Taker sets HHH up for the Last Ride. But HHH worms out the back, leaving Taker standing (slightly confounded) in the middle of the ring, when WWHHHHHHAAAAAAMMMMOOO! Shawn Michaels, still miffed about that whole Hell's Gate thing, nails Taker with Sweet Chin Music. Taker stumbles back and INSTANTLY eats a Pedigree. Shawn -- now seemingly a crooked ref -- drops down to count, but at the very last instant, Taker kicks out. Holy shit: I'm a grown man, and a very smart man, and I just thought Taker's streak was about to end right there. That means this match has already done something that no Undertaker WM match has done since.... well, since before the Streak was the Streak. I've never really had that moment where I felt like it might be over. Until now. Wow.
     
    Mega-frustration from HHH, who goes again for the Sledge. But Shawn (now with some awe/respect mixing in with his anger towards Taker) again argues to do this the right way. So HHH slings Shawn headfirst into the steel cage. What are friends for, right? But by dealing with Shawn, HHH gave Taker time to recover. Quick flurry by Taker, ending with another chokeslam... Shawn slowly crawls into position, and it's still only another 2.99999 count. Now Shawn's in awe of HHH's resiliance, and becomes conflicted. He sits in a corner and watches, gently weeping at the realization he's going to have to count one of these two down.

    HUGE game of "yay"/"boo" as the two trade haymakers, then after some triple reversy, HHH nails a Pedigree. Another 2.9999 count, followed by Shawn retreating to his corner to weep. HHH frustrated by the kick-out, and even MORE frustrated when Taker hits the Zombie Sit-up. HHH decides he needs Sledge again; Taker counters by grabbing a chair. Chair wins, and Taker goes to town on HHH before finally going for a cover. Another 2.99999, Shawn again retreats to just watch.
     
    Now Taker's the frustrated one. As he paces, HHH crawls towards the sledge. Taker sees it, and has his chair. Like a gunslinger, he waits for his opponent to stand at the ready, and then it'll be whoever's quickest on the draw... but HHH is so badly beaten (he started bleeding a few minutes ago, above the eye) he can't even lift the Sledge. So Taker knocks it out of HHH's hands and stands there with a sort of "So, what are you gonna do now?" look. First, HHH does the Roddy Piper slumped-in-a-corner-just-bring-it gesture. Taker almost takes pity on HHH, and stays away.
     
    But then, we enter WM26 Re-enactment Mode: HHH does a crotch chop and invites Taker to suck it. Taker no likey, so he drops HHH with a clothesline. HHH drags himself up, using Taker's tights, defiantly insisting that he won't quit and Taker will have to finish him. So Taker does. Tombstone. Three count (with only the slightest hitch from HBK). And that's 20-0.
     
    Over half an hour of high drama. Maybe 32-33 minutes if my memory of what the clock said at the start of the match is accurate. And no, it wasn't a workrate classic. In every way, it was lacking in grapplingsmanship as compared to the last 3 Taker matches. But it's also proof positive that grapplingsmanship ain't everything. Incredibly entertaining, and I simply canNOT overstate how huge that one mid-match spot was.... I've never had a visceral, on-the-spot sense that the Streak was actually being threatened. And more to the point, I thought I was too "smart" to ever have such a stupid feeling. But when Chin Music and Pedigree and Crooked Ref all converged tonight: I believed.Kudos, and kudos again.
     
    After the match, Taker was able to do a Zombie Sit-up and then get to his feet, so already he's ahead of last year's stretcher job. A handshake and a long hug with Shawn give way to his music and spooky lighting, and a well-deserved ovation/celebration. And then, cut the mood music, because Taker is looking at HHH's carcass... he decides to bend down to say a few words, and then he and Shawn hoist Triple H to his feet, and the three leave together. End of an era, indeed.
     
  • Hall of Fame: all of the inductees from last night are brought out onto the stage to be honored again. Even Ric Flair (on loan from TNA). But despite Naitch, the biggest ovation goes to Edge. As well it should. Naitch is here as but 1 of 4 Horsemen (actually, 5, since JJ Dillon is there). And speaking of Horsemen, it was really cool to see Barry Windham there, considering he's 5 months removed from almost dying (when he fell off a horse, and suffered a broken neck, a stroke, and aheart attack almost simultaneously).
     
  • Team Johnny beat Team Teddy. The Battlin' Bellas do ring intros for the two teams. Of note: (1) Johnny Ace is wearing a ridiculous all-white suit. And (2) Eve accompanies Zack Ryder to the ring, so I think we can all see where this is going.
     
    Just tons of random tags and no flow to the match for the first 2-3 minutes, until Booker is tagged in and ends up as the Face in Peril. Crowd out of it, but what do you expect after Taker/HHH? Instead of a standard comeback and hot tag by Booker, the heels start illegal double teaming, which means the faces have to respond, and we end up with a Pier 12 Brawl. Possibly Pier 15 or 16, since the women and the midgets get involved, too. Ends with Kofi hitting a huge plancha onto 7-8 dudes at ringside. Now things are settled down enough, and Booker makes a hot tag to Santino.
     
    Santino is en feugo, and in honor of WrestleMania, he even takes his usual headbutt, and moves it to the top rope. In your face, He Who Shall Not Be Named: now your finisher has been stolen by a comedy wrestler! Santino's hot streak just breaks down into another Pier 12, however. In the chaos, it's Zack Ryder who is able to clear the ring, and he's setting up for the Broski Boot on Miz. But this is when Eve decides to get in the ring and fist-pump with Zack. Both Zack and the ref are distracted by her shitty timing, allowing Miz to recover. When Zack turns back around, he sees Miz is up, tries for a Rough Ryder, but instead, eats a Skull Crushing Finale. Fin.
     
    A harmless 9-10 minutes, with the story being that Miz was the game changer, and up until 6 days ago he was on a losing streak and not even on the team. Miz Reborn?
     
    After the match: Eve feigns concern for Zack, then kicks him in the balls, then leaves to a huge "Hoeski" chant. Hokay.
     
  • Hey looky: at ringside, it's Alex Rodriguez and Torrie Wilson. And they get the ever-loving shit booed out of them. I guess Miami doesn't like no-longer-productive ladyboys and wrestling deserters. Also at ringside: Andy Garcia, who is treated much more nicely. Presumably because he's known for quality work. Except for Ocean's 12. Which I seriously doubt was his fault.
     
  • Backstage: CM Punk is warming up when Team Johnny parades past him in celebratory mode. Johnny decides to hang back and talk to Punk. Johnny says that now he's in charge of both brands, he's gonna put his stamp on the product. And tonight, that means he wants to see WRESTLING, not brawling. Punk's got anger issues since Monday, but if he's really the Best Wrestler in the World, he'll be able to put those aside. Johnny's so sure of this, that he's making a new stipulation to tonight's WWE Title Match: if Punk loses his temper and gets disqualified, he will also lose the WWE Title.
     
  • CM Punk beat Chris Jericho to retain the WWE Title. Jericho stepping it up for WM with a new, multi-color LiteBrite jacket. Way to be an ass, junior! (I mean that in a good way.) With the new stip, you could probably write the first 5 minutes of this one yourself: all goading, all the time. Jericho wants to draw the DQ, and even gets Punk to pick up a chair at one point... but sanity prevails in the end. Throughout this bit, it seems like an 80/20 split in favor of Punk, but the Jericho fans are quite vocal.
     
    Finally kick it into gear with some action, as Punk tries for the Macho Man Elbow, but Jericho's still got his wits and rolls out of the ring... so Punk just changes direction, and while Jericho strolls around thinking he's safe, Punk drops the Macho Man Double Sledge from the top to the floor. Nice. More brawling around the ring, then when it's time to get back into the ring, a huge spot: Punk is gonna suplex Jericho back in, but Jericho reverses it and superplexes Punk out of the ring and to the floor. Ouch. Lots of guys tease that spot, but it NEVER happens. Well, rarely. But it happened here.
     
    Now it's time for the standard heel beatdown. Jericho's surgical focus is on Punk's injured back for a good 5 minutes, leading up to the Walls of Jericho. But Punk escapes and starts his comeback. We'll all of 10 minutes in, but this really is the start of "End Game." And End Game that lasts for another 15 minutes.
     
    Punk's initial rally leads to another Macho Man Elbow attempt, but Jericho dodges, and counters with a Codebreaker. But due to positioning, Punk ends up flying out of the ring. Jericho corrals him, but takes a long time doing so, so once they're in the ring, Punk lashes back with a GTS. But again: the position is bad, and Jericho is able to get a foot on the ropes. Punk's frustration now enters back into the equation, as he's upset with himself, with Jericho, and the ref, but has to avoid getting DQ'd. This cycle of frustration and reigning himself in gives Jericho a chance to strike with a sudden bulldog and a lionsault.
     
    Then, the spot of the match: Jericho goes to the top rope, but gets caught by Punk. Jericho seated on the top, Punk standing. Punk goes for the top rope hurricarana/frankensteiner, but Jericho reverses it IN MID AIR, grabbing Punk's legs, and landing on the mat in a painful-looking old school Lion Tamer (the awesomer version of the Walls of Jericho, which includes a knee to the skull). How awesome was it? The crowd's going ape-poopy for it, and then unanimously boos when Punk's valiantly battles to the ropes for a break.
     
    Jericho, of course, has to berate the ref for this, which gives Punk time to recover, and thus, they get into a back and forthy brawl. Spills outside the ring, and Punk actually gets the better of it. Tosses Jericho back into the ring, and tries to follow up with a springboard move. But instead, Punk eats a mid-air Codebreaker. Super-close near fall, and Jericho is getting frustrated. He's gonna berate the ref again, but you can actually see the lightbulb flick on in his head: instead, Jericho turns to Punk and starts trashtalking his alcoholic dad, crack-addicted sister, and whatnot. Trying to draw the DQ fails, though, so Jericho decides to go to the top rope. Punk catches him, and tries for a top rope GTS, but Jericho worms outs.
     
    A quick exchange in the middle of the ring leads to a standard Walls of Jericho. Punk tries to get to the ropes, Jericho drags him back. Goes for a different side of the ring, Jericho brings him back. With the crowd now red hot, they try it again, and this time when Jericho "stands up" to drag Punk back, Punk immediately hooks the leg and gets a small package. Two count. Jericho reverses it, Steamboat/Savage style. Two count. Punk re-reverses it, two count. Jericho escapes the pinning combo by trying another Walls. Punk counters that by locking in the Anaconda Vice. Sweet. Jericho escapes, but after another quick octuple-reversey grapple, Punk gets the Vice cinched in for good, and Jericho has to tap. Punk retains.
     
    I'm not kidding: "End Game" lasted for the final 15 minutes, after the slower opening 10 minutes. Really solid match as a whole. And I think they can do better still: I do not expect a clean, tap-out loss to stop a whiny jackass like Jericho from getting a rematch!
     
  • Uhhhh, Beavis?: So Brodus Clay comes out, asks everybody to take out their cellphones, cuz he wants everybody to call their mamas. He feigns a conversation with his mama, but it turns out she's here in Miami. With her bridge club. So out comes a lady in a fat-suit to dance with Brodus. And then there's 15 more dancers in fat-suits (and matching old lady dresses), representing the bridge club. Oy. I like Brodus and all, but this was lame as shit. Not even the Funkettes forming Ass Voltron could have saved it.
     
  • The Rock beat John Cena. It's official. This tops WM22 as the god-awfulest "special" ring intros of all time.
     
    First, Puff Diddily Daddy gets booed to high heaven as he introduces some other dude who gets booed even worse. Oh, I see, it's Machine Gun Kelly. I (as a man who pays just enough attention to pop culture to explain why I hate things) am aware of MGK, but I didn't actually know the dude looked like.... that. How did he get famous looking like.... that? Anyway, he and his crew do their WM Theme Song, with some Cena-centric modifications, which gets him booed even worse. Then that stops, and Cena's regular theme kicks in... as I predicted, JonJon DOES have a new shade of Fruity Pebble for the big show: this time, he's back to green. But less John Deere, and more Celtics-y.
     
    Then, once Cena's in the ring, here's Flo-Rida to get booed for wasting our time with HIS contribution to the WM Theme Song Library. As a bonus, he has back-up dancers, which I always take as permission to dismiss you from consideration as a serious musician. Especially if you are a male. Sorry, but The Rick like the rock 'n' roll. And there's no dancing in rock 'n' roll. It doesn't help that said back-up dancers seem less coordinated than Brodus' Bridge Club. Then again: they're probably the same dancers. Why pay twice when you can just slap fat suits on the Miami Heat Dancer rejects and nobody will know the difference? Anyway, then that stops, Rock's usual theme kicks in, and there he is.
     
    Boxing style intros. Electricity is palpable. As the bell rings and the two circle, even ref Mike Chioda seems to have an extra bounce in his step. Like I said: electric. Old school antics to start. Lock-up: Cena wins test of strength by shoving Rocky to the mat. BOOOOOOOOOO. Lock-up again: opposite result. YAAAAAAAAAAY.
     
    Evenly matched, eh? So they circle again. This time when they lock up, Rock snatches a side headlock and proceeds to lay in with OMG CHAINWRESTLING~! Headlock to hammerlock to wristlock to getting-wristlocked to kipping up to whipping Cena into the ropes to nailing a perfect Steamboat armdrag to an arm bar to a la magistral cradle for a 2 count. Miami's head just exploded at that display. They love it. So do I. After the near fall, Cena uses a slovenly, no-skill-needed shoulderblock to drop Rocky. BOOOOOOOO, you hack! Rock decides to match Cena power-for-power, though, and Cena actually powders out of the ring. BOOOOOOOOOO!
     
    Rock follows, and the brawl quickly turns in Cena's favor. Builds up to Cena dropping Rocky ribs-first onto the announce table, which sets us up for our "heel" beatdown. Cena focuses on the ribs, obviously, but does have some tweeks to his moveset including a couple surprisingly nice suplexes. However, he shits all that goodwill away when he opts to lock in the dreaded bearhug. Ugh. At least it's not the abominable stretch, I guess. Rock powers out of this one andlands a snap DDT. Both men down, so it's the first 10 count of the match.
     
    Both up, trade fists (more yay/boo for the fans). Rocky seems to win it, but when he sets up for the People's Elbow, Cena springs to his feet, drops Rock with the wacky tackle, and nails the Five Knuckle Shuffle, instead. Cena smells blood and starts stalking Rock with a shit-eating grin that only fuels the boos. When Rock gets to his feet, Cena tries an FU, but Rock escapes and shoves Cena into the ropes. As he comes off, both men have the same idea: double clothesline. Another 10 count from the ref.
     
    Both up, and more yay/boo. An extended game of yay/boo actually, leading up to Rock landing about 5 shots in a row, and then trying his old patented super-duper right hand with some stank on it... but while he was showboating, Cena got his wits about him, and hoisted Rocky up for an FU out of nowhere. Quick cover. But no! Only TWWWWOOOOOOOOO! Cena vents frustration, then tries to follow up, only to eat a Rock Bottom out of nowhere. TWWWWOOOOOOO!
     
    Both men slowly to the feet, and this time Cena gains nominal control, but realizes none of his standard moveset is gonna get the job done. So he goes up top and land his top rope Rocker Dropper. But again: TWWWWOOOOOOOOO! Cena stalks again, and this time when Rock gets to his feet, Cena is able to hoist him up for the FU.... but Rock is just barely able to grab the top rope for a break. Cena drops Rocky, walks away, then turns around and charges at him. Rock drops him with a spinebuster. And then: the Sharpshooter. Nice.
     
    Rope break by Cena gets boos. Rock just mounts and pummels Cena, then recinches the Sharpshooter. Of note: Rock's looking pretty sharp, but he's REALLY sucking wind here. Wherefore art thou, cardio? Another struggle, but Cena's again able to get to the ropes. Match spills outside the ring for some more brawling. As has been a motif all night: the tide turns when they head back into the ring. Rock thinks he's gonna slingshot Cena back inot the ring, but Cena flips over the Rock's back, and then cinches in the SSTF. Rock tries for ropes, but Cena keeps dragging him back to the middle. BOOOOOOO! Finally, there's no more fight left in the Rock. Seemingly. He's fading, so we switch from tap-out mode to old school Raise The Arm Mode. And wouldn't you know it? On the third raise, Rocky's able to keep his arm up. He's feeding off the energy of the crowd, Jess! [/gorilla]
     
    Rock's hulk-up gets him out of the SSTF, and then when Cena charges him again, he eats a Samoan Drop. That took the last of Rock's strength, though, so how's about ANOTHER 10 count?
     
    Both men up at 8, and again to the trading fists (yay/boo was a popular pasttime on this night). Definitely end game now, as Rock wins the punching, tries for a Rock Bottom, is reversed into an FU attempt, then finally settles for a spinebuster. And then: much to the delight of the millions, the Rock preps and lands the People's Elbow. But Cena kicks out. Rock frustrated, takes a quick stroll, then walks right into a small package by Cena. TWWWWOOOOOOO! Both men up, quick exchange, and Rock gets a double-leg, and slingshots Cena into the steel ringpost. But only TWWWOOOOOOOO! Another grapple, this time with Cena winning. Cena hoists Rock up to the top rope for a superplex attempt, but Rock shoves Cena off. Rock hits a sweet Steamboat Cross Body. Cena rolls through, however, and instead of going for the cover, he picks Rock up and nails the FU. But guess what? TWWWOOOOOOOOOOO!
     
    And then, the finale. Instead of getting frustrated, Cena smirks. Rock's running on empty, and it's just a matter of putting the exlamation point on this puppy. So Cena gets up, and begins gesturing (again, Broadly, as is the finest manner of gesturing) that he's thinking about doing the People's Elbow. BOOOOOOOOOO! But the boos only galvanize JonJon's desire to be a douche. He kicks Rock's arms in, he does the wacky arm gesture, and he starts running the ropes. I'm not 100%, but I even think he ran them twice, and if so, that makes it even funnier that when he did decide to stop and drop the elbow, Rock had nipped up and was waiting. Waiting to hit the Rock Bottom. One. Two. Three.
     
    Another 30+ minute match, and another classic. Everything that you would have hoped for out of these two. Gotta wonder where it leads, though.... Rock's never gonna be able to hold up half of a real on-going storyline, and yet, his win doesn't make a whole lot of sense as a stand-alone deal. It's gotta be part of something bigger, and it might grow tiresome if chapters of the Rock's bigger story get portioned out once or twice a year. He's a busy man (even busier than usual for the rest of 2012), so it's tough to see him following up on this before WM29.
     
    Then again, maybe you can make the case taht the story isn't that Rock won, it's that Cena lost. And HOW he lost. He got cocky and acted like a jerkwad, and that's why he lost. There's material to work with there...
     
    Anyway, show wins with Rocky celebrating to a huge ovation. With a few cut-aways to Cena, sitting in the entrance aisle, watching Rock, with a look on his face like he might start crying. Boo hoo, JonJon, boo hoo.

And so ends the show. And so ends my recap. And so ends my day of paying way to much attention to shit happening in Miami.
 
Hope you enjoyed the show and/or my retelling of it, depending on how cheap a bastard you are. Just remember, if you didn't get the PPV and relied on me to give you the best damned accounting of things on the intarwebz, I think you should thank me (all major credit cards accepted! your donations keep me from resorting to obtrusive advertising or other shenanigans!).
 
And hopefully we'll see you around again soon. April's already shaping up as interesting. For instance: remember the Hall of Fame tonight at 8pm prior to RAW! And then next week, SmackDown is doing a stunt-casting show, with an 80s/retro theme! The Draft should be in 2 or 3 weeks! And Extreme Rules closes out the month with the stipulation-match PPV that tends to be pretty good (especially this year, since I have a feeling Jericho/Punk is gonna happen again, this time in Chicago and as the main event instead of as a mid-show afterthought, and I bet that is red hot)!
 
Later on, kids...

E-MAIL RICK
BROWSE THE PPV RECAP ARCHIVES


  
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Bonding Exercises
 
RAW RECAP: The New Guy Blows It
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Night of Champions 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: 18 Seconds? NO! NO! NO!
 
RAW RECAP: The Show Must Go On
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Boot Gets the Boot
 
RAW RECAP: Heyman Lands an Expansion Franchise
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Losing is the new Winning
 
RAW RECAP: Say My Name
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Deja Vu All Over Again
 
RAW RECAP: Dignity Before Gold?
 
PPV RECAP: SummerSlam 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Backfired!
 
RAW RECAP: Bigger IS Better
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Hitting with Two Strikes
 
RAW RECAP: Heel, or Tweener?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Destiny Do-Over
 
RAW RECAP: CM Punk is Not a Fan of Dwayne
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: The Returnening
 
RAW RECAP: Countdown to 1000
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Money in the Bank 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Friday Night ZackDown
 
RAW RECAP: Closure's a Bitch
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: In-BRO-pendence Day
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Gets What Crazy Wants
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Five Surprising MitB Deposits
 
RAW RECAP: Weeeellll, It's a Big MitB
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: #striketwo
 
RAW RECAP: Johnny B. Gone
 
PPV RECAP: WWE No Way Out 2012
 
RAW RECAP: Crazy Go Nuts
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: You're Welcome
 
RAW RECAP: Be a Star, My Ass
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Needs More Kane?
 
RAW RECAP: You Can't See Him
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Lady Power
 
RAW RECAP: Big Johnny Still in Charge
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Over the Limit 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: One Gullible Fella
 
RAW RECAP: Anvil, or Red Herring?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Everybody Hates Berto
 
RAW RECAP: Look Who's Back
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Care to go Best of Five?
 
RAW RECAP: An Ace Up His Sleeve
 
PPV RECAP: WWE Extreme Rules 2012
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Sh-Sh-Sheamus and the nOObs
 
RAW RECAP: Edge, the Motivational Speaker?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: AJ is Angry, Jilted
 
RAW RECAP: Maybe Cena DOES Suck?
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: No! No! No!
 
RAW RECAP: Brock's a Jerk
 
SMACKDOWN RECAP: Back with a Bang
 
RAW RECAP: Yes! Yes! Yes!
 
PPV RECAP: WWE WrestleMania 28

 

 

 


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