WWE held its Wrestlemania pay-per-view at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta last night, with 71,617 fans attending and an estimated one million people watching at home. But anyone tuning in to watch wrestling at the biggest wrestling event in the world came away disappointed.
On a four hour show, there were about two hours of action -- and they weren't even good. And by good, we mean wresting like local WWF Champion Superstar (and subject of this week's cover story) Billy Graham.
Instead, the show opened with the World Heavyweight Champion Edge against Mexican aristocrat Alberto Del Rio for the title. Edge beat Del Rio and then spent 10 minutes destroying Del Rio's Rolls Royce with a crowbar, while Del Rio spent more time on his knees, crying about his car on the entrance ramp than he spent actually wrestling.
CBS reporter-turned-wrestling-announcer Michael Cole wrestled wrestling legend Jerry "The King" Lawler in an excruciating match with little artistic merit. Cole comes off more as a wimpy douchebag with a teenager's spiky hairdo with middle-aged man's paunch who has been taunting Lawler for months. It should have been simple: Lawler gets his hands on Cole, then beats the grease out of him. The match, instead, dragged as Cole -- who couldn't beat up your girlfriend -- assaulted Lawler until the King made his comeback.
Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi wrestled as part of a six-person tag team match, where she performed an impressive cartwheel into a backflip, but really -- it was Snooki. Two outstanding wrestlers, John Morrison and Dolph Ziggler, played second-fiddle to her in that match. Snoop Dogg performed in a segment with an English grappler, a midget masquerading as a small child, and an Indian dude called The Great Khali. Pee Wee Herman was there, too.
And wrestling fans wonder why the rest of the world hates them.
Longtime WWE stars Triple H and the Undertaker had a phenomenal match last night, as did CM Punk and Randy Orton, and Cody Rhodes and Rey Mysterio. These guys wrestled their matches well, but they were the only ones on a card that ended bizarrely.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night was Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's performance. The Rock kicked off the show with a 20-minute promo inside the ring that went absolutely nowhere.
The draw going into Wrestlemania was that the Rock would confront WWE's top star John Cena, which didn't happen until the main event. Cena wrestled WWE Champion Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. They battled to a double countout -- meaning they wrestled until the referee disqualified them both for spending too much time outside the ring.
Rock stormed out and insisted the match had to be continued until there was a winner, then attacked Cena with his Rock Bottom finishing move, allowing Miz to retain his championship.
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Rock then slapped Miz around and posed to end the show.
The match we were most looking forward to was between United States Champion Sheamus and Daniel Bryan, real-name Bryan Danielson, who is widely considered the best wrestler in the world. That match was relegated to the pre-show and turned into a Battle Royal.
It's amazing that WWE couldn't find ten minutes for these guys to perform, but that was Wrestlemania this year, where wrestling was a dirty word.