5:30 EST: Well, I’m getting ready to head to tonight’s Raw at the Toyota Center after finally getting into my hotel room. I had to change hotels because the other one I was staying at charged an extra $100 during the weekdays. It wouldn’t have been an issue had Orbitz paid the hotel like they were supposed to, which as a result, I was left waiting for two hours for the problem to be corrected.
Last night, I was live at WrestleMania 25 and before I get into my quick thoughts on the results of the matches, I have to say my bias does not allow me to look at the event objectively. What a fan watching on television could have seen as a mediocre or worse pay per view, being there live obviously makes it above average any day of the week. Last night was no different. It was electric pretty much from start to finish and it was an honor to be apart of it live.
However, having a night to recover and looking back at what took place on the show, here are my thoughts about WrestleMania 25:
Money In The Bank: This opened WM and the fan excitement made the match that much more enjoyable. I thought everyone worked extremely hard and although Benjamin still had his one crazy spot of the night (the flip off the top of the ladder), Kofi Kingston took his place this year as the one all over the place. Kofi looked great in this match and it’s ashame he has nowhere to really go right now.
My major problem with this match is the outcome. Being there live, I definitely heard a ton of "CM Punk" chants, so some fans in attendance should have pleased with the result. I think Punk was the last person that should have won the match. The obvious choices in my mind were Christian, MVP, and "maybe" Shelton Benjamin since they did have him drop the title to MVP. Kane even should have won it before Punk won it again.
I don’t have a major issue with Punk, but they’ve tried this before and for some reason, Vince McMahon and Company do not believe in the kid. I can understand why, too. I just think it was a wasted opportunity that could have given another star something to look forward to in the future. Benjamin has worked his ass off in the MITB matches of the past; why can’t they give him just one victory in that damn match? I think he would step up a ton with his mic ability and overall persona if they gave him a confidence booster by promising something in the future.
25 Diva Battle Royal: Waste of time, although they kept it pretty damn short. I’m a huge Santino fan and at the end of the day, his/her win at Mania will at least give him good television time in the future. I’m looking forward to that.
Jericho/Legends: Really shocked to see Jericho win this match although I shouldn’t have been. They were able to get everything they wanted involved with the match and still give him the W. Steamboat was great and overall, the match part of this segment was not as bad as I thought it could have been. Flair allowed Jericho to punk him out yet again, so my hat goes off to him as well. My main problem is getting Rourke involved. Unless it leads to a match between those two (and I’m pretty certain it is not), there’s no payoff and it seemed rather pointless to me. However, my big question now is where does Jericho go from here?
Jeff Hardy/Matt Hardy: I was excited to see them give Matt the rub in their first match. I was afraid that the WWE felt their program was falling flat up to this point and were looking at this being a one-off match that would have had Jeff go over. These guys could heat up more in the future and I think it simply elevates their career if they could tag up with some of the main eventers on either program.
I think I was expecting a little too much out of this match from a work standpoint and although it had some cool spots (I loved the finish), it seemed a little short for my taste. It came up a little weak at the end of the day and had they been given five more minutes, I think I would have considered this one of the top two matches of the card.
JBL/Rey: Short and sweet – the way I like any JBL pay per view match. Say what you want about the guy, but JBL is one hell of a talker and no one can take that away from him. People hate him and that’s what a heel is supposed to do. When they gave him the IC Title to begin with, I didn’t expect this to be the outcome. However, Rey could be elevated (as hard as that is to say) with holding this title and additionally, he could do what I hoped JBL would do: bring some credibility back to that division. Rey has been in limbo for years now; it’s about time he has something useful to do in the company.
Taker/HBK: One of the greatest matches I’ve seen and it was definitely the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. It was everything everyone else said it was and it was a complete honor and pleasure to be able to witness that live. The only negative point to the match was it’s greatness really did drain the energy out of the crowd for the last two matches.
Show/Cena/Edge: It never ceases to amaze me how harsh the crowd can be toward Cena until the end of the match where he gets the victory. The crowd went nuts when he first came out and somehow changed their minds halfway through the match again and cheered the hell out of him when he won. Overall, I thought this match was better than what I expected. Big Show really stepped up last night and I don’t have any qualms with Cena getting the title again, although I’m sure I may be in the minority on that one.
Orton/Triple H: My biggest disappointment of the night. After Cena won, I simply knew Orton was going to take it. I even made a bet with a couple of 10 year old that he would win. They disagreed and took the bet. The loser had to cluck like a chicken in front of the crowd around us (I would have bet them a beer, but they weren’t old enough). Needless to say, I paid my debt and was pissed that I had to.
Why in the hell would you not have Orton win this match? It’s the biggest show of the year and Orton has been on fire in recent months. This would have put him over the top, in my opinion, but now it completely sets him back. The match felt rushed and then, he lost CLEAN! I have a feeling they are going to try and make it up very soon by having Hunter drop the title either tonight, next week, or the latest at the next pay per view, but that’s not enough. Blame whatever you want, but this was the weak point of the card to me when expectations were missed by a country mile.
I went up to the Toyota Center and went back where some fans were standing near the entrance. I was only there looking for tickets because I didn’t have one at that point (I didn’t know whether I was going to stay the extra day or not). Neither the less, they did say that they saw Vince and Hunter arrive together, Candice Michelle and Tommy Dreamer arrive together, Shawn Michaels, and CM Punk.
I will be at Raw tonight and will post a review either late tonight or tomorrow. Don’t forget, Nick and I will be hosting a live edition of the Voice of Wrestling radio show this Wednesday. I will also be posting the footage that I got from the Hall of Fame reception on Saturday right here on WrestleZone.com. Interviews with Matt Hardy, Mr. Kennedy, Joey Styles, Beth Phoenix and Michelle McCool at the same time, and Jimmy Hart. Look out for that!
Enjoy Raw everyone – I’m sure I will.
Talk to you soon,