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4/7 Powell's WWE WrestleMania 29 results and review: The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship, Triple H puts his career on the line vs. Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred match, Undertaker vs. C.M. Punk, Ryback vs. Mark Henry
By Jason Powell
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WWE WrestleMania 29
Aired live on pay-per-view
East Rutherford, New Jersey at MetLife Stadium
WrestleMania 29 Free Preview
Josh Mathews and Matt Striker introduced the show from ringside and hyped the Wade Barrett vs. The Miz match for the Intercontinental Title. Striker hyped the new ways to view the event and they hyped that it will be the most interactive WrestleMania in history.
Scott Stanford took over the broadcast and was joined in a box by Jim Ross, Dusty Rhodes, and Kofi Kingston. They were all wearing suits and stood in front of a desk.
Powell's POV: I love this approach. It's similar to what the networks do for pre-game shows for the major sports. I've begged for this approach many times over the years so I hope becomes the norm rather than just for WrestleMania. This would be perfect for a WWE Network pre-game style show.
An Alberto Del Rio vs. Jack Swagger video aired... Stanford, Ross, Kingston, and Rhodes discussed the World Hvt. Championship match... The WrestleMania video featuring shots of countless fans aired...
Mathews and Striker spoke at ringside. Striker noted that the crowd was electric. The crowd roared. Mathews set up a text contest for WrestleMania 30 tickets... The announcers set up a Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar video... The four-man team spoke about the Triple H vs. Lesnar match... They went to the crowd where Tony Dawson interviewed fans briefly...
Backstage, The Miz spoke with Snooki, who is a social media ambassador. Wade Barrett entered the room and they jawed while Snooki stood between them. Barrett said he would show Miz a very different reality. "Really?" Snooki asked. Barrett said yes and left the room. Snookie said something about spray tans...
Striker and Mathews spoke at ringside and set up a Ryback and Mark Henry video... The four-man team spoke, but there were some streaming issues on Youtube and Facebook...
Powell's POV: Can't they just air these pre-shows on social media platforms and on the pay-per-view channel?
An Undertaker and C.M. Punk video played... Stanford and Ross spoke in the box and then a WWE Shop commercial aired... More fan footage was shown and then they set up fan footage from Tout... Striker and Mathews spoke at ringside about all the platforms WrestleMania is available on... A video set up The Shield vs. Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Big Show...
Powell's POV: The feed is lousy. I'm going back and forth between Youtube and Facebook and I can see just about everything between the two, but it's been more trouble than it's worth. Dot Net reader Shawn Valentino noted that it's raining at Metlife Stadium. It's not showing up on the stream, so it must be light rain. It's not expected to last based on what Dot Net weather correspondent Brick Tamland reported earlier today.
1. Wade Barrett vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Title. Miz hit the move formerly known as the Reality Check for a two count. Barrett went for Wasteland, but Miz slipped away and went for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Barrett dodged it. Barrett came back with the Winds of Change twisting slam for a good two count.
Barrett hit Wasteland for a two count. He complained to the referee and then went back to Miz, who kicked him, took him down, and applied a Figure Four. Barrett tapped out to end the match. Miz celebrated with the belt and headed to the back...
The Miz defeated Wade Barrett in 4:10 to win the Intercontinental Title.
Powell's POV: A decent match with an odd finish. They were hitting big moves on one another, but the Figure Four was applied awkwardly and kind of out of nowhere. The live crowd was a lot more receptive to Miz and the title change than I anticipated.
In the box, Standord, Ross, Kingston, and Rhodes discussed the main event. Ross said if the match goes under 30 minutes then Rock wins, but Cena wins if the match goes over 30 minutes. The other panelists checked in on the main event. Stanford set up a video package on the Rock vs. Cena match... A live overhead shot of the stadium closed the pre-show...
WrestleMania 29 Pay-Per-View
WrestleMania opened with footage of Hurricane Sandy that was narrated by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. He closed the piece by by welcoming viewers to WrestleMania 29... A WrestleMania video aired with a narrator who closed by telling us that this is WrestleMania...
Michael Cole introduced the show as the camera pulled back and showed the amazing set with the Statue of Liberty piece above the ring and the New York set on the stage. Jerry Lawler and JBL were also on commentary...
1. Sheamus, Randy Orton, and Big Show vs. The Shield (Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns) in a six-man tag match. There's a great fan sign that reads "If Cena Wins, We Complain Online." Amen. Reigns sold for the babyfaces early. Show performed his slaps to the chest on one of the Shield members while Orton and Sheamus smiled in the corner.
There was a cool spot that the cameras were clearly prepared for. Rollins ran toward the face corner (and the camera) and performed a dropkick on Orton that knocked him off the apron. Sheamus delivered his chest pounds to the chest of Rollins. Sheamus went to the ropes, but he was pulled down to ringside.
The Shield members isolated Sheamus in the ring and set him up for a Triple Powerbomb, but Big Show ran in from nowhere and speared all three men to break it up. Sheamus crawled toward his corner for a tag and was reaching for Show when Orton tagged himself in instead.
Orton was setting up for an RKO on Ambrose. Rollins leapt off the top rope behind him, but Orton saw him coming and hit a great RKO. Reigns speared Orton, and then Ambrose covered Orton and got the win for his team. The Shield members headed out through the crowd.
The Shield defeated Randy Orton, Sheamus, and Big Show in 10:40.
After the match, Show got in Orton's face and complained about the tag. "OK, OK, OK," Orton said. Show stumbled, yet hit the knockout punch on Sheamus in the corner. He then hit the knockout punch on Orton. Show left the ring with Sheamus and Orton lying on the mat. Cole said you have to feel bad for Orton because he's the guy who went to bat to get Show on the team. JBL defended Show because things went fine until they didn't tag him in. Lawler said he couldn't argue with that...
Powell's POV: A good match with the right team winning. The faces are all singles wrestlers, whereas The Shield are the trio. They really had to win here. Show knocking out his teammates afterward was the most predictable path. There was a lot of suspicion that Orton would turn. Perhaps this was the beginning since he tagged himself into the match.
A video focussed on John Cena's supposedly down year early followed by The Rock looking strong at the end... Snooki was shown sitting in the crowd with her husband...
2. Ryback vs. Mark Henry. Ryback and Henry met in the middle of the ring and jawed at one another. They ran into one another and neither man budged. Rinse and repeat. They traded punches and the crowd did the "yeah/boo" bit with Ryback getting the boos, though not all that intense at this point. Henry got the early advantage with a powerslam.
Ryback went for a suplex, but Henry stopped him and put him on the ring apron. Henry ran Ryback into the ring post. Henry clotheslined Ryback, who tumbled to the floor. Back inside the ring, Henry maintained control with punches, various shots, and a bear hug (Daniel Bryan is very happy somewhere backstage).
Ryback fought back and then hoisted up Henry in Shellshocked position, but Henry grabbed the ropes and fell onto Ryback. Henry covered Ryback and got the pin...
Mark Henry defeated Ryback in 8:00.
Trainers checked on Ryback afterward, but Henry told them to get out. Ryback performed a spinebuster on Henry. A good portion of the crowd booed. Ryback performed Shellshocked on Henry. He led the crowd in Feed Me More chants...
Powell's POV: A flat match with a surprising finish. I didn't think there was any chance of Ryback losing again considering how many times he's lost. I don't think he lost anything here because of the way it was done, but I don't think he gained anything by losing on the big stage either. Obviously, this keeps the feud alive. Ryback had some haters, but the crowd has been pretty tame as far as the heel love goes thus far.
At ringside, the announcers played with Sheamus and Rey Mysterio action figures. JBL pounded on the Mysterio figure...
Lilian Garcia introduced representatives from the Special Olympics and Stephanie McMahon. They all waved from the stage...
Powell's POV: Dot Net reader Mike Ott asked a good question. What happened to America The Beautiful? Meanwhile, Hater Dave predicted that Eugene would do a run-in during the Special Olympics segment.
3. Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston (w/AJ Lee) for the WWE Tag Titles. They did the 18 second tease, only this time it was Bryan who performed a roundhouse kick and came close to pinning Ziggler very early in the match. A nice touch.
Langston and Kane ended up in the ring early on. Langston showed off his strength by picking up Kane and slamming him on his knee a few times.
Later, there was a very good near fall with Ziggler catching Kane with the Zig Zag for the near fall. Dolph tried to hit Kane with the Money in the Bank briefcase, but Kane ducked it. Kane chokeslammed Ziggler, and then Bryan performed a top rope headbutt on Dolph before pinning him. Bryan led the crowd in a huge "Yes!" chant afterward...
Kane and Daniel Bryan defeated Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston to retain the WWE Tag Titles in 6:15.
Powell's POV: An entertaining match while it lasted. They didn't get nearly enough time for it to be memorable. Production did a good job with the slow motion replay of showing how high Ziggler was when Kane chokeslammed him...
A video featuring John Cena promoting Make A Wish aired...
Fandango's music played. A group of dancers dressed in purple dresses appeared on the stage and danced. Fandango and his lady, who was wearing white, danced their way out behind the dancers. The brunette dancer was back. The lights went out for Jericho's newest light bright jacket. Jericho received a big pop and pyro went off over the New York set behind Jericho. Very cool entrance...
4. Chris Jericho vs. Fandango. There was a loud Y2J chant to start the match. Fandango danced until Jericho took him down. Fandango took an early powder. Jericho chased after him. They went back to the ring where Jericho tackled him and threw more punches. Jericho kicked Fandango's ass (literally) and eventually dropped him on the ropes from the suplex position.
Fandango danced briefly, but Jericho caught him with the Codebreaker at 1:50. Fandango's momentum took him to ringside. Jericho, who had a small cut on his forehead, dove off the top rope onto Fandango at ringside.
Fandango went on the offensive when Jericho charged him in the corner and missed. Fandango went to the top rope and performed his leg drop, but Jericho kicked out at two at 7:05. JBL said it would have been the biggest upset in sports entertainment history. Jericho came back briefly, but Fandango put him down with a clothesline.
Fandango went to the top rope again, but Jericho recovered and knocked him down. Jericho placed Fandango on the top rope and set up for the superplex. Fandango fought him off and knocked him to the mat with headbutts. Fandango went for the top rope leg drop and missed. Jericho went for the Lionsault and overshot it because Fandango put his knees up. Jericho immediately went for the Lionsault, but Fandango caught him in a small package and got the pin...
Fandango defeated Chris Jericho in 9:10.
Powell's POV: The announcers played this up as a big upset, which is the way to position it for the masses even though so many hardcore fans assumed Fandango would go over. The crowd was into Jericho's early fast paced offense. I really liked the pre-match entrances, as they helped make the match feel more important. The match was decent, but the first 75 minutes of the pay-per-view just haven't felt WrestleMania important.
The announcers narrated highlights of The Miz beating Wade Barrett to win the Intercontinental Title on the pre-show... A video focussed on The Rock aired featuring his fans saying "I am one of the millions." It concluded with Rock holding up the title as his voice could be heard saying, "And I am The People's Champion"...
The arena went dark and a collection of classic footage was shown on the big screen featuring big high spots and big names past and present. Sean "Diddy" Combs made a slow rise from under the stage and then delivered his performance on the stage...
The announcers spoke at ringside and said Combs is a social media ambassador for Be A Star... They went to a Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger video, followed by Alberto Del Rio gazing at the Statue of Liberty and getting all patriotic...
Powell's POV: Yes, they went from a Be A Star mention to Zeb Colter. Good stuff. The Diddy performance was quick, yet served as an annual reminder of how WWE manages to make me despise the WrestleMania theme song by the time the event takes place.
Zeb and Swagger were in the ring as the camera showed the camouflage vehicle they apparently drove to the ring. How could they not show that?!? Colter cut a promo in the ring complaining about New York and all the people who speak foreign languages in the United States "and plot God knows what against us." Colter asked the fans if they are too gutless to do something about it, then said Swagger will reclaim the country by winning the World Hvt. Championship.
Ricardo Rodriguez came out and introduced Alberto Del Rio, who came out wearing a white robe with gold trim. Red, white, and green fireworks shot off behind the stadium. Lilian Garcia handled the in-ring introductions for the title match...
5. Alberto Del Rio (w/Ricardo Rodriguez) vs. Jack Swagger (w/Zeb Colter) for the World Hvt. Championship. They went to ringside early with Del Rio on the offensive. When they got back inside the ring, Del Rio got distracted by Colter while standing on the second rope. Swagger used the distraction to take control of the match.
Later, Del Rio had Swagger pinned, but Colter reached in and put Swagger's leg on the bottom rope. "I didn't do it," Colter said. Ricardo walked over on crutches. Colter kicked Ricardo's angle and took one of his crutches. Del Rio headed to ringside, where Swagger attacked him from behind.
Swagger roughed up Del Rio on the floor and then threw him back inside the ring. When Swagger followed, Del Rio immediately put him in the Cross Arm Breaker. Swagger tapped out. Michael Strahan was shown going nuts in the crowd, and Colter was shown seething at ringside.
Alberto Del Rio defeated Jack Swagger in 10:30 to retain the World Hvt. Championship.
They cut to a commercial for the National Guard... Ring announcer Justin Roberts thanked U.S. military personnel in attendance...
Powell's POV: Colter did his best to generate some heat with his pre-match promo, but the crowd didn't seem all that concerned about the outcome. The commercial playing after the match took the wind out of the sails of fans who were hoping that Dolph Ziggler was going to cash in. This has felt like a very ordinary wrestling show set in a big stadium with an amazing set.
A C.M. Punk and Undertaker video package was shown... Living Colour performed "Cult of Personality" on the stage for C.M. Punk's entrance. Undertaker made his entrance and Punk let out a primal scream right after the gong sounded...
Powell's POV: It's pretty cool to see Fred Sanford filling in for singer Corey Glover. Wait, what? Okay, honestly, I dig that the guy is just aging normally rather than getting a bunch of procedures done to mask the aging process. Watching Paul Heyman bounce to the ring to the beat of the song with the urn in his hand was pretty damn comical. I love Punk's scream when Taker's gong sounded. It beats the cheesy look of fear we've seen from so many people. It made me feel like we're about to see a fight.
6. Undertaker vs. C.M. Punk (w/Paul Heyman). Punk tossed around the urn at ringside before the match. Taker went after Punk, who dodged him, and then slapped Taker across the face. Taker chased after Punk, who dodged him again and then fired away with repeated shots in the corner. The crowd has come to life. It finally feels like WrestleMania.
Taker grabbed Punk by the throat, but Punk caught him with a kick to the head. Punk ran the ropes and ate a big boot from Taker, who then tossed Punk to ringside. Taker went after Punk at ringside and whipped him into the timekeepers area. Taker pulled the monitors from the Spanish broadcast table. Taker picked up Punk and ran his back into the ring post.
Back inside the ring, Punk regained control. He took Taker's arm and backed to the corner. Everyone knew what was coming and came to life again. Punk performed Taker's Old School spot. "Is nothing sacred?!?" yelled my buddy Pooch. Taker came back, but he missed a big boot and then Punk regained control.
Punk focussed his attack on Undertaker's left shoulder. Taker fought back with punches, but Punk put him down with a swinging neckbreaker. Heyman yelled that Punk is a half a second away from ending the streak. He told him that he's gaining momentum with every move.
Punk, who was wearing purple and black (old school Taker colors) went to the top rope for Old School again, but this time it didn't work. Taker eventually knocked Punk to the floor. "What happened?" Heyman yelled. "You've got to get up." Taker ran the ropes and teased a dive over the top, but Heyman stood on the ring apron to stop him. Taker grabbed Heyman, but Punk recovered and hit Taker from behind.
Punk performed a top rope elbow drop for a two count at 11:10. Punk motioned for the GTS. He went for the move, but Taker slipped out and chokeslammed him. Taker covered Punk, who kicked out at the last moment at 11:55. Taker had a flurry of offense that included Snake Eyes, but when he bounced off the ropes, Punk caught him with a leg lariat.
Punk clotheslined Taker to the floor. Punk removed the last monitor from the Spanish announce table, but Taker recovered and set him up the Last Ride. However, Punk slid out of that and caught Taker with a kick to the head that left Taker lying on the table. Punk looked at Taker and looked to the top rope at 14:50.
Punk went to the top rope and performed a top rope elbow drop onto Taker on the table. The damn table didn't break. The tables continue to be the biggest heels in big WWE matches. They replayed the footage and Punk landed on his hip and appeared to slam his ankle off the side of the table. Taker raced back to the ring to break up the referee's count at nine.
Back inside the ring, Taker applied the Hell's Gate submission hold. Punk flipped over and turned it into a pin for a two count. Punk applied the Anaconda Vice, but Taker sat up. Punk went for the GTS and didn't really hit it, so Taker came right back with the Tombstone Piledriver. Taker covered Punk with the classic Taker tongue-out cover, but Punk kicked out at the last moment.
Both men fought on their knees and traded punches. They got the "yeah/boo" cheer, but there didn't appear to be a favorite. They battled back to their feet and Taker grabbed Punk by the throat. Punk flailed his arms and the referee was knocked down. Taker went for the Last Ride, but Punk had the urn and slammed it over Taker's head.
Punk made the cover in Taker tonuge-out style. Taker kicked out at the last possible moment. The crowd was definitely buying into the possibility. Moments later, they jockeyed for position in the middle of the ring. Taker got the better of it and put Punk down with the Tombstone Piledriver and got the 1-2-3...
After the match, took the urn back. He set it down in the ring and then got down on one knee and struck the pose. An awesome fireworks display shot off behind the stadium and 21-0 appeared on the big screens.
Undertaker defeated C.M. Punk in 22:10 to extend his WrestleMania winning streak to 21-0.
Powell's POV: They did it. Whether you loved or hated the build for the match, Taker and Punk came through with a gem that had the crowd buying into the near falls even though the overwhelming majority of the fans in attendance entered the show assuming Taker would win. They had the fans at ringside on their feet and there were the well-earned "this is awesome" chant. Best match of the night so far and it's not even close.
A Slim Jim commercial aired. The Miz, Kofi Kingston, and Kaitlyn spoke about a donation that Slim Jim made to the USO... The announcers spoke at ringside and set up a video on John Cena and redemption...
A Triple H and Brock Lesnar video package was shown...
Shawn Michaels made his entrance. Brock Lesnar made his entrance with a smiling Paul Heyman behind him. Lesnar is much more cut than he has been since he left WWE the first time. Damn. Brock had a big bruised cheek.
There was a long pause and then Triple H's music played. He entered through some type of '80s metal entrance prop and he ended up with white powder all over him from the smoke machine or some prop. Lindsay Lohan is getting the shakes if she's watching this. It's too bad because the powder was so distracting in the lighting that it became the focus of the entrance...
7. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Triple H (w/Shawn Michaels) in a No Holds Barred match with Triple H's career on the line. Triple H and Lesnar brawled right from the start. The crowd was still coming down from the Taker vs. Punk match and was a bit slow wake up.
At ringside, Lesnar performed a big suplex on the floor. He picked up Hunter and dropped him on the announcers table. He picked him up again and slammed him through the Spanish announce table. The damn thing finally broke.
Lesnar let out a primal scream that will be all over Youtube. He performed another big suplex that threw Hunter onto the remains of the Spanish announce table. Lesnar laughed and then let out a less comedic yell. The crowd reacted to the big suplexes and major spots, but they were otherwise very quiet.
Back inside the ring, Lesnar continued with the big suplexes. He looked down at Michaels and smiled. "Why do you put yourself through this?" Heyman yelled to Triple H from ringside. "Stay down."
Lesnar has a nasty looking scrape across his pec and a bloody mouth. He continued to dominate the match until Hunter came back with a clothesline that knocked Brock into the timekeepers area. Triple H pulled out a chair and slammed it over Lesnar's back. Back inside the ring, Lesnar hit another suplex.
Shawn Michaels climbed onto the ring apron. Heyman stood up on the other side and told Lesnar to put him down. Brock aggressively knocked Michaels off the ring apron with a forearm shot. Triple H came back with a spinebuster. Brock came back with an F5, but before he could hit the move, Shawn ran in.
HBK went for Sweet Chin Music, but Lesnar caught his foot and performed the F5 on Michaels. Triple H was waiting for Lesnar when he got up and performed a Pedigree (took a second attempt) on him. Triple H went to ringside and pulled out sledgehammer and tried to hit Brock with it, but Lesnar avoided it and landed and F5.
At 15:00, Brock threw a piece of the ring steps in the ring. The announcers said Lesnar was out of control. Lesnar waited for Triple H to get up and then picked up the ring steps, which he slammed into Hunter's head. Brock covered Hunter, who kicked out at two.
Triple H fired back with punches. He went for a Pedigree, but Lesnar caught his arm with a Kimura. They were in the ropes, but JBL immediately pointed out the ropes wouldn't save him because of the No Holds Barred format. Brock wrenched on the arm. He sat on the top rope and the announcers said he was doing it to put more pressure on Hunter's arm.
Triple H eventually powered up and slammed Brock from the ropes down to the mat. "This is amazing," Lawler said. He was loudest person in the building at this point. Brock recovered and charged at Triple H and missed. Brock caught Triple H with a low blow, which the announcers again noted was completely legal.
Hunter came back with a chair shot to Brock's elbow. He followed up with another shot to Brock's arm, as it was resting on the ring steps. Triple H applied a Kimura of his own. Brock looked stunned. Brock teased tapping. Heyman yelled, "Don't you tap." Heyman entered the ring and grabbed the chair. Shawn, who had a bloody nose from the earlier forearm, was there to hit Heyman with Sweet Chin Music.
Brock teased tapping out and the crowd was into this. Brock eventually powered up and picked up Triple H, then slammed him down on the ring steps. Triple H applied the Kimura again. Brock once again teased tapping, but he picked up Hunter and slammed him on the steps again at 21:55.
Triple H applied the Kimura for the third time. Brock teased tapping again. He once again powered up and tried to slam Hunter down, but Hunter caught him with a DDT on the ring steps. The announcers quickly recapped the DDT. Triple H caught Lesnar with a sledgehammer to the head.
Triple H signaled for the Pedigree and then performed the move on the ring steps that were set up in the ring. Hunter covered Lesnar and pinned him to win the match. Shawn entered the ring to celebrate with Hunter. Shawn's nose was a bloody mess...
Triple H defeated Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred match in 24:00.
Powell's POV: I don't know if the crowd never recovered from the Taker vs. Punk match or if they didn't buy into the retirement stipulation, but they didn't do the match any favors. They were every bit as quiet as the Staples Center crowd was for the first Lesnar vs. Hunter match. The difference was there was a hell of a lot more to cheer about in this match. Sure, they popped for some of the Lesnar suplexes, but both guys really worked hard and had an intense brawl. They deserved better. This was the second best match of the night so far behind Taker vs. Punk in my book.
A commercial aired for Extreme Rules on May 19... A commercial aired for Rock's "Pain & Gain" movie... A WWE Hall of Fame recap/commercial for the USA Network special aired...
Howard Finkel introduced the members of the WWE Hall of Fame Class of 2013. Mick Foley, Booker T, Trish Stratus, Bob Backlund, and Donald Trump were introduced. The music changed and Bruno Sammartino was introduced...
Powell's POV: Big applause for everyone other than Trump, who was booed loudly.
A video aired for WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans. The event takes place April 6, 2014... Justin Roberts announced the attendance as 80,676. Pyro shot off on the stage and at the top of the stadium...
Powell's POV: Sorry, Brodus, but Cena didn't have to use the restroom this year. No mixed tag match.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. John Cena was booed loudly. The Rock made his entrance to a big pop. Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions for the championship match...
8. The Rock vs. John Cena for the WWE Championship. Cena knocked Rock down with a shoulder block. The first seven minutes of the match were slow as they took turns on offense. There was an audible "boring" chant as the slow build continued. The announcers said neither man had really opened it up yet.
The pace picked up around 10:00 as with a series of moves and counters that resulted in Rock applying the Sharpshooter for a decent pop. Cena escaped the move and caught Rock with a slam. The crowd came to life with loud boos. Cena smiled and the announcers said he feeds on it.
Cena did the "You Can't See Me" bit. He had some fans chanting along. He went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Rock moved and DDT'd Cena. Rock set up for the Rock Bottom, but after and awkward transition Cena applied the STF, which didn't put Rock away.
At 12:30, Cena slammed Rock down and did the "You Can't See Me" routine again. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle the second time to mostly boos. Rock teased the People's Elbow and the crowd roared, but Cena reached up and caught Rock in the STF. Rock slowly powered out as the announcers said no one has ever been able to power out of the move.
They got to their feet and Rock caught Cena with the Rock Bottom at 14:15 for a two count. They got back to their feet and Cena caught Rock with the Attitude Adjustment for a two count out of his own. Lawler said Cena appeared to be playing possum trying to lure Rock in.
Cena got back to his feet first and went to the top rope. Cena went for the top rope leg drop. Rock moved and then followed up with a spinebuster. Rock performed The People's Elbow and went for a cover. The crowd chanted along, but Cena kicked out and then rolled to the floor at 16:15.
Rock and Cena traded punches and got the "yeah/boo" reactions with the crowd cheering Rock. He got the better of the punches and then ran the ropes went for a cross body, but Cena caught him. Rock slipped away from Cena and executed the Rock Bottom for a two count.
The Rock set up for The People's Elbow, but he stopped and did the "You Can't See Me" hand gesture. When he ran the ropes, Cena popped up and performed the Attitude Adjustment. Cole said last year it was Cena toying with Rock that cost him the match as they showed the replay of Rock's taunting nearly costing him this match. Good storytelling.
Rock and Cena once again traded punches in the middle of the ring for the "yeah/boo" reaction. Cena ended up slipping around Rock and rolled him up for a two count. They got up and jockeyed for position again and this time Cena performed the Rock Bottom on The Rock and got a two count. Cool spot.
At 21:25, Cena thought about doing the You Can't See Me hand gesture, but he stopped and then smiled. The announcers assumed he thought better of it, but Cena teased doing the Rock's schtick instead. He ran the ropes for the People's Elbow. Rock popped up, but Cena stopped on the ropes and did the You Can't See Me bit and went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock slipped out and hit the Rock Bottom for a good two count.
At 23:20, Rock caught Cena with a kick to the gut and put him down with a good DDT. The crowd settled down as Rock waited for Cena to get back to his feet. Cena got up and avoided the Rock Bottom, and countered into the Attitude Adjustment and got the 1-2-3...
John Cena defeated The Rock to win the WWE Championship in 24:00.
After the match, the referee handed Cena the new WWE Championship. Cena looked down at the belt. Rock got back to his feet and they met in the center of the ring. Cena and Rock talked. I'm not lip reader, but they exchanged positive words. Rock told him that he came back for this moment. They eventually shook hands and hugged. There were more boos than cheers for the the handshake.
Cena left the ring with the WWE Championship. Rock remained in the ring and played to the crowd with by saying thank you. Rock went to ringside and hugged his mother, his daughter, and other family members and friends. Rock walked to the top of the stage where Cena was waiting.
Once Rock made it to the top of the stage, Cena saluted him. Rock returned the favor. Cena raised Rock's hand and then Rock used his other hand to point to Cena. Fireworks went off outside the stadium. Cole said it was a main event for the ages. Cena yelled, "The Champ is here" to close the show...
Powell's POV: An entertaining match down the stretch with all of the big match near falls you would expect, but it just didn't pack the punch or feel nearly as important as last year's match despite the WWE Championship being on the line. It was still entertaining and it felt like the main event, but the Rock Bottoms and the Attitude Adjustment spots over and over became repetitive. Good work and a strong effort by both men, but it just wasn't as hot the second time around.
Overall, WrestleMania felt like the three match show that it appeared to be on paper. Even most the undercard matches that I was looking forward to feel like throwaway undercard matches now rather than meaningful WrestleMania undercard matches. The post match routine of Rock and Cena is going to drive the Cena haters and those bored with his act nuts. It told the story that Rock said it wasn't going to tell when he said he wasn't going to pass the torch.
We'll have a lot more to say tonight in Dot Net Members' Exclusive audio with former WWE creative team member Seth Mates. Join us on the ad-free version of the website. Check out my Twitter page right now for info on how you can sign up for $1 for one month.
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