In the build-up to WrestleMania 32, the Flickering Myth writers look back at previous installments of the ‘Showcase of the Immortals’.
World Heavyweight Title Match: Edge w/Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio w/Riccardo Rodriguez & Brodus Clay.
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio
Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella & Kofi Kingston vs. The Corre
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Michael Cole w/Jack Swagger vs. Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler (Win by DQ)
Triple H vs. The Undertaker (No Holds Barred Match)
John Morrison, Trish Stratus & Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi vs. Michelle McCool, Layla & Dolph Ziggler
Michelle McCool, Layla, Maryse, Alicia Fox & Vicky Guerrero vs. Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, Gail Kim & Beth Phoenix (10-Diva Tag Match)
WWE Title Match: John Cena vs. The Miz
For anyone who’s has ever had the pleasure (or perhaps, displeasure) of watching WrestleMania XXVII, you will know that there are quite a significant number of low-points to draw from here. While I don’t necessarily believe that this event deserves the harshness it receives from a lot of fans (more on that later), there can be no denying that there is plenty of disappointment here.
One such disappointment came in the form of the 8-man tag team match, between The Corre and a babyface team comprised of Big Show, Kane, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston. The Corre were the ugly hangover of the The Nexus; a ultimately pointless stable made up of Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater & Ezekiel Jackson.
Bearing in mind that WrestleMania XXVII was the first event to lack a Money in the Bank Ladder Match since its inception at ‘Mania 21, this tag match was the best chance fans would get of some multi-man chaos. Unfortunately it didn’t deliver as such, due to the fact that the match was finished in less than two minutes.
All the babyfaces hit their finishers immediately, and Big Show pinned slater in a time of one minute and thirty five seconds. The competitors’ entrances lasted twice as long as the match! So you have to ask: what was the point?!
It’s not even as if the ‘squash’ decision went the right way either, as there would have at least been some logic in having The Corre go over strong. Big Show, Kane, Kingston and Marella were all veterans by this point; wrestling commodities that the fans knew and trusted. None of them needed this win.
The Corre on the other hand, could have desperate done with a victory here. The stable may have been struggling to be taken seriously on WWE programming, but a decisive win here could have propelled them. You only have to look at what happened to each man’s career after this point to appreciate the fact that a ‘downward spiral’ had already begun. That isn’t to say that a win here would have changed The Corre’s fortunes, but this embarrassing loss certainly didn’t do them any favours.
As the final nail in the coffin for this awful match, it is also worth pointing out that The Corre were holding multiple titles at the time. Wade Barret was the Intercontinental Champion, while Heath Slater and Justin Gabriel held the Tag Team belts. How are fans supposed to take the WWE’s championships seriously, when they make their champions look so easily-beatable?
Another terrible segment at WrestleMania XXVII was the ‘match’ between Michael Cole and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler. To be honest, it was so bad that it’s probably best to get through this as quickly as possible.
Bizarrely, this bout contains striking similarities to that of Goldberg and Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX: ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was the Special Guest Referee; the crowd had absolutely no interest in it whatsoever; it went on far, far too long; and the only cheers came at the end when Austin started handing out Stunners.
Unfortunately, unlike Goldberg and Lesnar who both had the sense to leave the company after their match, we had to sit through a few more weeks of this God-awful feud.
To be brutally honest, there is really only one match worth revisiting on the WrestleMania XXVII card, and that is the No Holds Barred Match between The Undertaker and Triple H.
It was a fairly safe bet that this one was not going to top Undertaker’s match from the previous year, against Shawn Michaels. Having said that, ‘Taker and Triple H deserve huge plaudits for telling a completely different (but equally riveting) story in the ring. Where Michaels/Taker was a tale of showmanship and legacies, this one was more about brutality.
Both men worked their boots off here, delivering a wince-inducing spectacle of pain. They threw everything they had at each other, using an arsenal of strikes, submissions, finishing manoeuvres and even weapons. At one point, Triple H hit an almighty chair-shot to his opponent’s head, which was even more jarring to see given that those sorts of attacks had been long-since banned by the WWE. I doubt Vince McMahon was overly pleased with that one!
In my opinion, Triple H can do ‘brutal and ruthless’ better than anybody, and it is a part of his arsenal that people often fail to truly appreciated. It isn’t just about swing a sledgehammer around and hoping for the best; Hunter’s facial expressions and body language really sell you on the fact that he’s pissed and wants to hurt someone.
In the end though, it was of course ‘The Deadman’ that stood victorious…although he wasn’t standing for long. Undertaker really sold the beating he took, having to be helped out of the ring by officials. Whether this was simply out of respect for Triple H, or because they knew that this angle was going to be used for a rematch 12 months later at ‘Mania 28, you really believed that he was hurt. You only have to compare Undertakers selling here to the aftermath of WrestleMania XXX, where he was legitimately concussed, to see a striking resemblance. That shows just how much of a pro this guy is.
The Undertaker’s winning streak moves up to 19-0, and his streak of ‘Best Matches on the WrestleMania Card’ moves up to 3.
It is sad to say, but WrestleMania XXVII is easily the worst ’Mania event of recent times.
It isn’t among the worst editions of all time (I’m looking at you, Manias II, IX & XI), but there is very little to return for after the initial viewing. Most of the matches were pretty meaningless with very low stakes (there were only two title matches on the card), and there were far too many silly segments involving the likes of Snoop Dogg and Hornswoggle.
The main event was also pretty diabolical. I’m not going to sit here and blame The Miz as, unlike most wrestling fans, I have a lot of time him. He always gives 110% on the mic and in the ring, and I think he’s actually carved out a decent career, considering he’s been swimming against a tide of hate since the day he debuted. Having said that, there can be no doubt that he wasn’t ready for a WrestleMania main event. The whole thing was a little farcical to me. Call me old-fashioned but I don’t think the WWE Championship should ever take a back-seat to a ‘marquee’ rivalry, and that’s exactly what happened here, as soon as The Rock became involved. The WrestleMania main event is supposed to be the defining moment of that year, no a set-up for a match 12 months later.
So yeah, you can definitely afford to miss this one.
Jackson Ball – Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn