Metlife Stadium, New Jersey

The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) vs. Randy Orton, Sheamus and The Big Show

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of The Shield so I’ll try not to let my bias show. This was a frantic and chaotic match. Similar to their previous six-man tag matches in that the The Shield played the numbers game again, isolating The Big Show (THE BIG SHOW!) for the majority of the match. The highlights have to be Seth Rollins hitting a brutal suicide dive that hit Randy Orton square in the face and slamming his own head off the ringside barrier, Big Show delivering the mother of all spears to all three members of the Shield and Randy Orton hitting the RKO on a flying Seth Rollins.

WWE again choose to put the team of the Shield over rather than having a group of individuals triumph. The match ended with the ego’s imploding, with Randy Orton tagging himself in only to fall victim to the Hounds of Justice (thank Cole!) team work as Roman Reigns hit his spear after Orton’s RKO to Seth Rollins, leaving the manic Dean Ambrose to pick up the pin. The Big Show then knocked both Orton and Sheamus out cold with the WMD. I’ll be very surprised if we don’t see a Triple Threat at some point.

Only negative was a few moments in the commentary in my opinion. One of my pet peeves about Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole is that they often mention things being the “first time ever”/”we’ve never seen this before!” when we actually have seen it before, in this case it was Sheamus ripping the Kevlar body armour off of Dean Ambrose before doing his hammer blows in the ropes, Sheamus has done this exact spot to both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins on Monday Night Raw! It’s a little thing and I’m sure most fans don’t care (or even notice) but it just sucked me out of the match for a few seconds, damn my longer than one week memory! But this didn’t really detract from the match in my opinion. An almost perfect opening match that set the crowd on fire. A great performance by all six wrestlers.

Also it’s great to see the World Heavyweight Championship not opening the show this year as it has for the last two.

(As an aside note. Does anyone else find it as insane as I do that Dean Ambrose just pinned Randy Orton in his debut match at WrestleMania? If you’d have told me that this would happen a year or two ago I would have laughed in your face and called the mental health services.)

Winner: The Shield of Justice via pinfall (Dean Ambrose pinned Randy Orton)


Mark Henry vs. Ryback

This was never about wrestling and it was never going to be the greatest technical bout on the card but in my opinion it told a great story. It was a battle of two behemoths, power houses duking it out to assert their dominance over each other. Mark Henry looked stronger than ever, seizing the advantage over Ryback early and using his veteran wiles to get the win. Ryback didn’t lose because Henry beat him, he lost because Mark Henry has decades of experience over him, hanging on to the ropes to escape Ryback’s Shellshock, landing on top of him to get the pin.

Great ending to the match and as Henry tried to rub salt in the wounds Ryback showed why he’s the future in terms of being the ‘big guy’ in WWE, hitting a devastating Spinebuster before lifting (AGAIN) Mark Henry for the Shellshock and leaving the Worlds Strongest Man staring up at the lights.

Since the feud started Ryback’s haters in the IWC (Internet Wrestling ‘Community’) have criticised Ryback and wondered whether he could lift the big man, due to a few wobbles in months past (particularly against Lord Tensai, who seemed to sandbag the move on Monday Night Raw). Ryback just answered the question in the most emphatic manner possible, lifting him not once but twice.

Winner: Mark Henry via pinfall


Team Hell No (Daniel Bryan and Kane) (c) Vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston (with AJ Lee)

The cocky Dolph Ziggler couldn’t resist rubbing Daniel Bryan’s face in his failure in Miami last year, he kissed AJ Lee right in front of the American Dragon. Unfortunately for Dolph, Bryan responded with what he does best: he damn near kicked the Showoff’s head in! A great parallel to last years ridiculous opening match.

Anytime you put Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan in the ring together you can expect magic and they didn’t disappoint on the Grand Stage. Big E Langston had a very impressive debut, going toe to toe and blow to blow with Kane.

Perhaps the best thing about this match was the intensity of Team Hell No. For a long time the comedy skits, happy go lucky nature and occasional in fighting have grated on my nerves. There was none of that this night. Daniel Bryan looked like he was ready to murder Dolph Ziggler and Kane looked better than he has in years (this isn’t a slight on Kane by the way, he’s WWE’s most consistent performer of the last 10 years, he hardly ever misses a beat. It’s just for WrestleMania he really pulled it out the bag), delivering his offense with a fury not seen since the Attitude Era.

Only negative about this match is that it didn’t last long enough. But this match (and particularly the opening moments) was one of my highlights of the night. This might just be because I’m a huge Daniel Bryan fan and I really loved seeing the Dragon picking up a win on the grandest stage of them all.

Winner: Team Hell No retain the Tag Team Championship via pinfall (Daniel Bryan pinned Dolph Ziggler)

Fandango vs Chris Jericho

This was a great little match that told a great story. I know some people are put off by Fandango’s gimmick (with really no idea why, it’s different and stands out. What more could you really ask for in an era plagued until recently by John Cena and Randy Orton clones?) but I’m fully behind the guy. Whatever “it” is, he’s got it, at least as a heel. There’s just something that stands out about the guy.

Y2J dominated the match and delivered a brutal beatdown to the man who has tormented him for weeks before Fandango stole the win in classic heel fashion. I really don’t know how anyone could dislike this match. Jericho looked glorious in defeat and Fandango gets a huge rub off one of the greatest of all time.

Winner: Fandango via pinfall.


In part two I’ll move on to the main events: Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger, The Undertaker vs. CM Punk, Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar, and John Cena vs. The Rock. So far I found the show awesome, each match is distinct and delivered on it’s promise. My only real complaint so far is about the what seemed like constant video packages for the WWE Championship match. They felt like they lasted for eternity. That’s time, in my opinion, that would have been much better been spent in the matches I’ve talked about and even those I’m yet to cover. I know it’s the main event but we’ve seen these video packages constantly for the last few months (covering for the *cough* Champion), I don’t think we needed to see them again and particularly not in between matches that have nothing to do with it. We already know the deal with the main event, tell us more about the other matches!.

  1. Loved part one. Can’t wait for part two. Particularly enjoyed some of the vocab man! I’ll be sure to steal it for my future blogs haha :p

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