Wrestlemania XXVII quasi-liveblog a day late
Bish Mi Allah Rak Mana Rahima! Hum Dillelah Iribel Al Amin! We gettin’ Caroline Cheese money! We gettin’ Guardian liveblog money! We gettin’ whichever interns they get to do the liveblogging on ITV.com’s World Cup coverage money! (just refresh every minute or so, we have no idea how Liveblogging is meant to work)
0:35 Hey look, it’s perpetual rap-punchline-because-her-name-ends-with-“Hills, son” R&B artiste Keri Helson. She looks like she’s a few weeks into a 12-week programme. She appears to be singing underneath some kinda of giant mechanical ant’s legs as well. Lots of patriotic imagery: fighter jets, saluting soldiers, US flag. Fuck America imho, your country’s been shit since Sabrina the Teenage Witch became an adult and got a job in a fashion magazine’s office.
3:10 Rock’s intro package is done like one of those Youtube videos graphic design students do… kinetic typography isn’t it called? Anyway that, where they just show the words from a scene in Anchorman or an Incubus song but the text moves in time with the words as they’re spoken. Rock’s head is mad pointy these days, he’s like a half-Samoan Young Jeezy.
5:13 There has to be a better way of liveblogging than me just hitting “update” every time I type something. This is what you get with ILB, we’re proper old school pen and paper and scissors and photocopier blogging, all you finnoch with your http 3:0 optimised content platforms can play the back.
6:21 I suppose when you think about it the idea of someone “hosting” Wrestlemania is fucking retarded. It’s not the TV Choice awards, it’s meant to be a sporting showcase.
9:16 Rock does a call-and-response segment, a bit like a ska punk band or George Melly would have done back in the day. Camera has so far focussed on the same blonde woman in the audience twice, presumably because she’s the only one of the 30,000 in attendance who doesn’t have a neckbeard. Hi to anyone who’s come here off of Los Campesinos!’ Twitter account, by the way. This isn’t a very good Rock promo. Maybe Cena’s former rap partner Copywrite needs to come in and battle Rocky.
12:18 Feel free to “get involved” by commenting or sending stuff on Twitter to me. There’s a really fat guy opposite the hard camera on the right in the crowd who appears to be wearing the same colours as the cheerleaders in Glee. Not sure if this is relevant.
14:40 “Wrestlemania remember it?” highlight package. Ultimate Warrior shakes some ropes, Austin and Michaels do some posedowns, dunno if we’ll get to see that “Owen Coyle Is God” sign in it.
16:57 “This is the fabric of Americana” says Michael Cole, possibly confusing the event with a Whiskey Town concert. Alberto Del Rio has really amped up that “retired cocaine baron” aspect of his gimmick since I last bothered paying any attention to him. His personal ring announcer kinda looks like an anime version of Bob Mills.
19:04 Win the Royal Rumble, get to jerk curtains at a pay-per-view.
22:02 Edge is the worst wrestler ever. This is basically a whole match based around waiting for Christian to turn heel on him. Edge is wearing a robe that looks like it was designed by Helly Hansen circa 1998.
23:00 If Del Rio gets his own personal ring announcer, why does he have to get the American-language one as well? The best worker in this match is “Little Naitch” Charles Robinson imho. Jerry Lawler sounds as bored as fuck, which I presume is him realising he has to work a “veteran-versus-non-worker” match later on without the aid of a weasel suit. Edge does a back body drop. Fascinating.
27:15 Brodus Clay looks like one of those wrestlers people make on Smackdown games where they just make a guy who’s 600lbs and then hit random for all his other features so he has a pink mohican and a crop top. Match strategy: Del Rio kicks Edge in the arm a lot, Edge falls over. Could really do with a Gangrel run-in.
30:16 Christian is doing a lot of “pensive looking” in this match, presumably remembering when he had that one match with DDP at Wrestlemania. Edge might be the worst person in both sports and entertainment in 2011. Here’s Edge not selling a submission because he’s on the ropes, because obviously a hold stops hurting at the moment you touch the rope.
34:46 And there’s Edge using his broken arm that’s been worked over all match to lift himself back up before hitting his 150lbs spear. What a fucking cunt. And there he is waving it about as he’s won the match. Can Christian at least kick him in the balls in the aftermatch? Christian hit a mediocre tornado DDT from the apron on Brodus Clay while nobody was paying attention btw.
37:30 Edge re-enacts that bit at the end of Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” video by jumping on top of Del Rio’s car and elbow dropping it. I don’t wanna be “that guy”, but Edge retains his world title, that’s not the payoff, the payoff is “a car gets maybe $800 of damage to it” because Edge scraped it with a crowbar. So we’re to believe the value of the heavyweight title to these guys is significantly less than $800? Del Rio really could be the world’s best second-rate Rick Martel with a bit more polish. He needs a good Tito Santana to team with.
40:56 Tinie Tempah is YOUR Wrestlemania intro music, by the way. Remember when it was Peter Gabriel? That was shit.
42:11 Cody Rhodes is what happens when you let comic book fans into the wrestling industry, they give people gimmicks like “he thinks he’s disfigured…. BUT HE ISN’T. BUT THAT’S DRIVEN HIM INSANE. THINK ABOUT IT”. Anyway, here he is to beat Rey Mysterio.
43:55 BOOYAKKA BOOYAKKA SIX ONE NINE. Here’s Rey Mysterio dressed as Captain America. Did Captain America have a cummerbund?
47:01 Rhodes has quite a nice springboard kick. They also do a hurricanrana-reversed-into-a-kick-in-the-balls spot which is pretty entertaining, possibly playing tribute to Rhodes’ brother’s old Shattered Dreams finisher. Rey Mysterio’s increasingly broken down body as he takes part in a profession that has claimed the lives of all his friends is the closest thing to poetry I think you’ll find in contemporary wrestling.
51:03 Rhodes points at his face and shouts “THIS IS MY FACE”. They spill to the outside for some vaguely “ECW TV show in 1997” action. Nah, this is a good match so far. It needs blood but then again what doesn’t.
54:19 Rhodes is all “brb working on knee segment of the match” and then Mysterio does a moonsault which just seems like a really weird thing to do in wrestling in 2011.
56:30 Mysterio dons we now our gay apparel facemask that he ripped off Rhodes’ face. What’s your favourite comedy wrestling item of pain? D’Lo Brown’s chest protector? Lex Luger’s forearm? Something else? Rhodes wins with the “hit opponent with his own protective gear spot.
59:02 SNOOP DOGG IS HERE TONIGHT. Snoop’s talking to Teddy Long so get ready for a funneh dance segment.
1:00:05 William Regal raps! Giant Singh sings “Grease”! Zack Ryder sings Rebecca Black! Roddy Piper turns up! That one Japanese dude sings some stuff in a racist accent! Hornswoggle…. Hornswoggle looks a lot like a Gamestation employee if you ignore his height.
1:02:33 Wait did Hornswoggle just diss ICP?
1:03:11 It’s The Corre! They were the future of wrestling at one point and now they’re working an eight-man comedy match with the guys who didn’t fit into the “dancing for Snoop Dogg” skit five minutes ago.
1:04:55 No joke, Santino is one of the few consistently great things in wrestling over the past three years and they missed a massive trick by not hiring at least one other Jersey Shore cast member to do a quick skit with him. Just have Vinny shout “I think I’ve got pink eye” at him or something.
1:08:06 Wait what?
1:08:31 I have no fucking idea.
1:09:19 Match lasts significantly less time than the post-match celebrations. However Big Show pretending to play a trombone probably is worth **** 3/4 stars. The Rock gets ready to say “strudel”. Oh wait, Mae Young says “strudel” instead. Heh, old people.
1:11:35 Hah, people who’ve had a stroke trying to cut interviews and then slapping someone on the arse. Brilliant.
1:12:20 Rock and Stone Cold do a staredown but then Tinie Tempah comes on so we try and sell his album instead. How the fuck can Rock and Austin give me goosebumps just by a stilted handshake and yet everything else in wrestling ever is basically shit? Someone answer me that?
1:14:11 Nah, that’s such a fucking “internet talking point” thing and, like, I get that professional wrestling is like pop music in that it’s never going to be as appealing to you as it was aged 15 but… this is what I mean about comic book booking, everything in wrestling nowadays has to be some sort of 44-tiers-of-meaning shit rather than “dude x hates dude y so they take the piss out of each other and then have a fight”. I mean here’s CM Punk vs Randy Orton Trying To Be A Face. Which should be a good match but I think they’re feuding about CM Punk’s facial hair and stuff that happened in a coffee shop in 2003. If I need a promo video to remind me why they’re fighting it’s not good storywriting. Punk does namecheck a Dean Martin song though so snakes and roundabouts.
1:18:00 “The Irate Viper” might be my favourite shit wrestling nickname ever. Remember when everyone used to be all “AHHHHH REST HOLDS” on Orton, and then he stopped doing the restholds and he became really dull? Cole calls Orton “Cena” which just kinda says everything.
1:20:51 Punk attacks Orton by kicking some steps. They don’t move, but apparently this hurts Orton anyway, possibly via personification and Orton’s unique skills of empathy. The Edge/Del Rio, Mysterio/Rhodes and Orton/Punk matches have all had their psychology based around the heel injuring one of the face’s limbs in the build up to the match and trying to work on it during it, for those keeping note.
1:25:16 “RKO” was trending on Twitter this morning which I get the feeling might have given away the ending of this match for me. I’ve gotta shout out CM Punk for having a “groomed-with-a-beard” look and yet not looking remotely bearish which is some sort of big achievement. Punk sells big spots pretty fantastically, he really should be buried properly so he can spend whole matches bouncing about like the bastard lovechild of Mr Perfect and a Weeble.
1:29:22 Orton does “suddenly angry house-on-fire” really really well and if this was the era of there only being one title and thus one main event crew he’d be much better served as one half of a tag team with some streak of piss who could get beaten up for the first half of the match. Actually if someone shaved Punk and covered up those tattoos with a nice shirt he’d be an ideal tag partner for him. As the match goes on there’s some submission moves to “slow” “things” “down” after a pretty tasty superplex spot.
1:32:46 I know “Orton is a fucking shitty face” is a big talking point on the internet but he’s had the biggest face pop of the night so far just for pulling a few grimaces after dropping Punk on the floor. So, you know, let the man continue his mediocre face run. Would Punk have a better look if he was scrawnier? He does a really great bug-eyed Steppin Fetchitt face after escaping from an RKO attempt and I can’t help but feel he’d get more heel heat for that if he was 20lbs lighter. Orton wins with the RKO from nowhere, unsurprisingly.
1:36:52 Here’s Mean Gene Okerlund. And Pee Wee Herman. I kinda like how they play up the “ALL THE CELEBS TURN UP TO WRESTLEMANIA” and they get some kids’ TV entertainer from the 80s who collects kiddy porn.
1:38:28 Oh sorry that wasn’t Pee Wee Herman it was Bob Backlund.
1:41:35 Never really considered how big Vince McMahon’s ears are before. Is he the most successful person to have been molested by their mother in history or are there other contenders
1:42:09 The 2011 Hall of Fame class strolls out, Drew Carey gets booed, Hacksaw Jim Duggan gets the biggest reaction, Sunny #canstillgetit.
1:46:41 Is it a shame in the build up to this Cole/Lawler match Cole didn’t bring up “hey remember when you were arrested for statutory rape and they had to take you out of that Wrestlemania match?”. Anyway, here’s unacceptable face of old professional wrestling Jim Ross to do some commentating and get zinged by Michael Cole, who appears to be dressed like Taz. Dunno who that’s a rib on.
1:50:23 Oh man he dissed his barbecue sauce. That’s just beyond the fucking pail. No Bell’s Palsy gags though which seems a missed opportunity. Maybe Vince McMahon’s aggression towards Jim Ross is because Ross was never molested as a child? I mean, if you can’t psychoanalyse ex-billionaires what can you do? Jack Swagger’s theme tune sounds like something off the final two Rage Against The Machine albums.
1:52:19 Steve Austin comes out on a quad bike, presumably as a subliminal diss at Rik Mayall and tries to run over Jack Swagger. Steve Austin appeals to the base instincts of every man, the part of us that wishes we could wear Big Dogs merchandise on a regular basis.
1:55:26 According to Big Dogs’ website their biggest selling t-shirt is this one.
1:56:58 To an extent, This Is Pro Wrestling. It’s a match between a pensioner and a former war correspondent with no wrestling training that’s going to be based around lots of stalling, gurning, weapons shots and dicking about. And it’s probably going to be one of the best three matches on the card. Lawler is now bouncing Cole around a soundproofed announcer’s booth as Booker T makes absolutely fuck all sense on commentary.
2:00:07 Did we ever decide whether Jack Swagger looked more like Jake Busey or Biff Tannen? Just as proof of how good Lawler is with non-workers, here is him working a tag match with two paediatric doctors as part of a charity show.
2:04:23 Wait, I just realised there’s going to be no piledriver finisher to this match. Do we really finish something like this off with a fucking fist drop? Cole’s doing the “pull the strap down” spot which is pretty funny before applying an ankle lock that could best be described as “quite useful for getting rid of any pins and needles Lawler has”.
2:07:10 STUNNER! STUNNER! STUNNER! Do you think Austin is partially pissed off that Rock gets to have the whole show built round him and he has to settle for getting slapped by Michael Cole? Check out these GOOD LOOKING WORKED PUNCHES from Lawler. For the uninitiated, Cole built up to this match by mocking Lawler’s recently deceased father. Awesome.
2:09:30 Someone’s holding up a sign that says “WAR ECUADOR IS HERE”. Dunno what that means? Lawler gets a good ol’ Southern-style appreciative reception after the match is over. We gonna get Austin tossing Lawler a cold one or….?
2:11:30 Ah man, STUNNER!!! I could watch that shit forever. Booker T gets bodied for Spinaroonie-ing without due care or consideration.
2:15:10 STUNNER!!!!!! on Josh Matthews. Is there an argument against a WWE show that is just Austin kicking people who don’t really have any major importance to the product and then stunnering them? He rides his quad bike away despite having drunk two beers which I’m pretty sure is illegal.
2:07:22 It’s the Wrestlemania Reading Challenge! It’s Kofi Kingston playing golf with the Bella Twins! It’s John Morrison at an art gallery! This is like the One Show segment of Wrestlemania. While we’re discussing “side shit” wrestlers do, has anyone ever bothered showing the broads at Jezebel who are so keen on giving Mick Foley a platform any of Foley’s work in wrestling history? Between his spell in ECW and that weird, weird shit with Melina during his last WWE run it’s pretty hard to give him any credence as a pro-female dude. He is wrestling’s biggest carny though, so maybe it all makes sense.
2:10:58 Here’s a video package for HHH/Undertaker with a really really awful country song over the top of it. Wonder who’ll win this.
2:20:36 This match should have someone going through a table, right? Trips gets the showbiz entrance with a bunch of dudes off Deadliest Warrior ushering him to the ring with shields while he stands around dressed like Lady Gaga LARPing.
2:26:22 “Possibly the biggest match at any Wrestlemania ever”. Good one Jerry, cheers. Thanks for turning up.
2:27:27 Someone needs to just man up and say this: Motorhead are fucking shit.
2:29:04 Undertaker gets “Ain’t No Grave” by Johnny Cash as his specialised intro theme. Considering how fucking corny everything Cash did between 1967 and 2001 was, and that he had Significant Southern Cache as well as Being A Legit Mainstream Celebrity Who Was Kinda Dangerous, how come he never had a spell as a wrestling celeb-for-hire? All smacking Honky Tonk Man over the head with a guitar and shit. Undertaker Wrestlemania matches are basically like movies released in February, full of portentous This Is Important moments that we end up falling for like twats anyway.
2:33:11 Fucking hell, that’s a fucking e-fed intro for Undertaker, he gets the entire song and to pull specific facial reactions for various lines in the song. No holds barred, so presumably Michaels runs in and gets lamped at some point. Maybe Marty Jannetty and Nathan Jones can get some traction here as well.
2:35:45 Soup bones, shoulder blocks, spoiled Old School… pretty much what you’d expect from this kind of match early on. But yeah, as good (“good”) as this match is going to be it just feels so fucking entry level, like enjoying an Undertaker Wrestlemania match is like enjoying a Radiohead album: even if you do, should you really? Is it actually helping anything? HHH’s best match was that one he had against Taka Michinoku back in the day, fyi.
2:40:04 Undertaker gets some great elevation on a suicide dive, mentally checking through his “WWE Main Event Brawl” checklist. Someone gets thrown into the steps… yep, now. We already had the “failed finisher on table into back bodydrop” spot earlier on which was nice.
2:41:49 Kinda getting a big kick out of the “irritating smarky cunt” fans who are near one of the ring microphones who chant “HO-LEE-SHIT” like this was a fucking Kidman vs Kidman in a Kidman on a pole match in 2001 at every single move.
2:44:24 HHH takes a pretty good ass-whippin’, all things considered. If Undertaker Wrestlemania matches are the Oscar-bait of pro-wres, Jerry Lawler is Empire Magazine, repeatedly reminding you that This Is Very Important.
2:46:45 OH NO UNDERTAKER KICKED OUT OF THE PEDIGREE I NEVER SAW THAT COMING. Why the fuck isn’t anyone bleeding?
2:47:50 And now HHH kicks out of the Last Ride. Man, is there ever a situation where a powerbomb isn’t welcome? It’s great because it’s the wrestling move that’s most likely to accidentally break an opponent’s neck on some accidental slipping ish.
2:50:49 I got the timings wrong on these things, I think I’m about 15 minutes fast. Ah well. Lots of 2.9 counts in this match waiting for the final… presumably x-finishing-move-onto-y-foreign-object movement. Needs a ref bump imho, even though it’s no holds barred.
2:53:29 Groundhound Dog tribute spot as HHH just hits some Pedigrees with no real direction. Kinda feel Undertaker must have SUPERHUMAN DEADMAN STRENGTH as a result of this.
2:58:40 Yeah, I dunno, I can’t really get with this WWE brawl style over an extended period without any blood, it just makes it too fucking cartoony. Admittedly, to that end, HHH does make for a decent enough Dick Dastardly-style villain with the mugging and double faces, so maybe it’s something I could learn to love in time.
3:00:11 It’s cool bro, he’s got the sledgehammer out.
3:01:31 It’s cool bro, Undertaker locked on a submission instead.
3:02:26 HHH taps to Undertaker…. new submission that isn’t his old Dragon Sleeper. OK, visually that was a pretty great ending, exhausted Undertaker’s submission skills versus HHH trying to reach for his weapon. I mean, I liked The King’s peech so this kinda shit is probably targeted at me.
3:08:22 This MATCH has TAKEN A LOT OUT OF THEM so they CAN’T WALK AWAY and FLOP AROUND A LOT and then THE CROWD CLAP because they have WITNESSED A MATCH OF THE YEAR CONTENDER and it’s a bit like taking music critics to the club with you and standing around as they Shazam every track and jot down some brief impressions on each track into their fucking Blackberry.
3:12:10 Next year’s Wrestlemania to be in Miami. RAWSE to do “America the Beautiful” imho.
3:13:18 This is the match to calm the crowd down so Jim Ross does a few zingers on commentary as we await Snookie’s entrance.
3:16:08 Snookie enters.
3:16:58 Snookie gets tackled to the floor.
3:17:08 Snookie hits that Dirk Ziggler guy in the face.
3:17:37 Jim Ross confuses Snookie’s hometown for Jersey.
3:17:40 Snookie is standing outside the ring.
3:20:40 Is this match better or worse than Lambing Live, which I could be watching instead? This is the other way to do a non-worker match, of course, in which the wrasslers do all the work and then at the end Snookie slaps Vickie Guerrero.
3:21:35 WHAT THE FUCK.
3:21:46 Snookie…. just did a handspring elbow.
3:22:35 Snookie’s one of my top 20 workers of the year.
3:23:40 More Tinie Tempah.
3:26:33 Holy fuck this Miz intro video is awesome. Fucking “Hate Me Now” over some highlights video portraying him as a pro-wres Rupert Pupkin.
3:29:48 Kinda makes it a shame that Miz’s real entrance music is so fucking awful.
3:30:04 John Cena gets a gospel choir to announce him to the ring, because he’s cool. Are they going to do “Jesus Walks”? Chicago and Atlanta are near each other, right?
3:32:45 No, he’s going to pray. For fuck’s sake. I want to love Cena but he’s so fucking corny. I mean, corny even by professional wrestling good guy standards. Can’t he just spit on the US flag once?
3:34:21 One of these gospel singers only has one eye. That’s just putting me off. Being a gospel choir for hire must be so fucking weird, how much of your time is spent doing Real Religious Shit and how much is spent dicking around with novelty shit like this? Must be really weird being a opera singer/violinist for hire as well. Why has there never been an opera singer gimmick in wrestling, surely the fattiness of most opera dudes would make it an obvious move? Miz looks like he’d give a pretty good blowjob.
3:38:07 As this match finally begins, it’s probably worth mentioning that the Rock’s “hosting” of Wrestlemania to this point has consisted of insulting Pee Wee Herman and making some fucking jokes with Mae Young. VALUE.
3:40:40 Why does Miz have to do INTENSITY in a match? He’s meant to be the goofy fucking twat reality TV show guy, not Mr Intensity. He’s Rockstar, not Relentless.
3:43:27 When did 30% of moves in the WWE become a kick to the skull followed by someone shouting “STAY DOWN”?
3:47:25 Can you use an STF as a major PPV main event finisher? Answer: no. Has Cena specifically worked up his muscles so they look bulkier when he’s applying the STF? Whichever the muscle is on his top right arm.
3:49:29 REF BUMP! Finally.
3:50:23 Alex Riley is pretty good in a kind of 1990s manager kind of way. #teamalexriley #bobbyheenanwho
3:51:14 Miz just kicked out of the Attitude Adjustment. Really didn’t see that coming, and now they’re brawling into the crowd.
3:52:46 Here’s the double-countout spot which then gets overturned by The Rock….
3:53:34 And here’s The Rock to overturn it.
3:54:27 Would be funny if The Rock just spent five minutes doing his catchphrases waiting for the PPV to end.
3:55:23 Biggest pop of the night for Rock pushing a laptop onto the floor. #pcworldwho
3:57:27 Rock Rock Bottoms Cena, Miz pins. INTRIGUE.
3:58:45 Please let the card end with Rock and Miz doing a piss take posedown as Benoit and Guerrero.
3:59:38 Beatdown on Miz, People’s Elbow, arm wave, that’s your lot.