Wrestlemania Count-Up – #26: See Ya Shawn

Wrestlemania 26
Date: March 29, 2010
Location: University of Phoenix Stadium, Phoenix, Arizona
Attendance: 72,219
Commentators: Matt Striker, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler
America The Beautiful: Fantasia

Well, here we are. This has been one of the best hyped Manias in a LONG time and I could not wait for what was coming. Seriously, the card looked perfect and just about everyone that mattered was on it. The two biggest stars are fighting for the WWE Title. The Royal Rumble winner is fighting his former partner who turned on him.

Two legends are fighting in a career vs. streak match. This is old school booking at its finest and it’s worked like a charm. Pay attention Vince: keep things simple. Oh and Bret Hart and Vince are going to FINALLY end the Montreal Screwjob after over 12 years. Nothing major though. Let’s get to it.

Fantasia CANNOT SING. It sounds like an elephant stomping on my mother. The opening video is about everyone wanting to have their Wrestlemania moment. That’s the big thing indeed and that’s what it should be about. This is without a doubt the biggest night of the year and as JBL puts it the lights are on bright and everything is right here. That’s what Wrestlemania is all about: everyone wanting to steal the show.

It’s a beautiful thing and when it hits, there is nothing close to it in wrestling. They kind of run down the card without mentioning anything by name. This is really well done. That song I Made It is growing on me rapidly. It makes sense if nothing else so that’s all you need at times. Apparently this place is called the Toaster. Sure why not?

Unified Tag Titles: John Morrison/R-Truth vs. Big Show/Miz

Sweet GOODNESS there are some pretty ladies there. As X said, where are they the rest of the time? Yes, the pyro is cool in slow motion. Dang Miz’s theme music is awesome. Don’t expect a ton of criticism on this show as I thought it was awesome. The jacket on Miz…might be cool. I’m not sure though. I’d love to be the costume master for a company like this. It’s just awesome to get to pick the tights etc for these guys.

Imagine the memories of all of those various props and clothes in there. The ramp is really long so I have time to fill in here. We have a Spanish announce team. That and King being in a tux are nice things to get thrown out once in awhile. Now if only we had some John Wayne cufflinks. The arena looks awesome by the way. Apparently we’re in Romania for the first time ever tonight. Good show to start with I guess. Miz and Morrison start us off.

Morrison does that breakdancing legdrop of his. He’s athletic if nothing else. Show goes for maybe a Vader Bomb but Morrison kicks him in the head. This nearly kills Truth as Show falls backwards. Whose side is Morrison on here? Starship Pain misses. Show catches Truth’s plancha. That’s freaking insane. I mean Truth is a grown man and was coming down at Show. He just caught him. That’s insane. And Morrison goes for a springboard move and gets punched for the pin. What the heck was that?

Rating: D. This felt like about 4 minutes were edited out or something. It came from nowhere and just felt awkward. To be fair though, no one cared about this and it was just a way to get the tag titles on the show. Also, they knew this would be forgotten by the end of the show so why not just get it out of the way?

We recap the events of Mania week and it looks awesome. There was a golf tournament, an art show, and of course Axxess. Good night it looks awesome. Oh and there was a reading challenge too. Can’t beat that.

Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase vs. Cody Rhodes

Remember, this is NOT a handicap match. DiBiase has the look far more than Rhodes does and it’s not even close. That could be due to the white boots he’s wearing that make him look like a freaking moron but that could just be me. Orton is WAY over. Thankfully the next night on Raw Vince got the hint and did the full face turn that he had been dying for the past few months. Remember, this is NOT a handicap match.

Everyone throws dropkicks to start. If nothing else Rhodes is cool for the Triforce. Legacy beats up Orton and you know what’s coming. Hey, did you know there are over 70,000 people there? We’re 20 minutes in and we’ve only mentioned that 8 times or so. Didn’t know if it was clear or not. Orton gets a few punches in and the place POPS. They try a leg sweep/clothesline combo but Rhodes completely misses his leg sweep.

Make that a chopblock as I forgot my move names there for a bit. Legacy EXPLODES! Rhodes channels his former jerk…I mean partner, Hardcore Holly, with an Alabama Slam. While DiBiase throws some bad punches at Rhodes, Orton gets up. In the coolest spot of the first hour or so, Orton hits the double DDT on Legacy. That was awesome, of which both members of Legacy have decent looking ones. Orton humps the mat as usual, waiting on Rhodes to get up.

No RKO though as Orton channels his inner Ray Guy (He’s a punter in the Hall of Fame. How weird does that sound?) and Rhodes is out for good. DiBiase goes for Dream Street but Orton gets a sweet little counter into the RKO and the POP! The fans love this guy to say the least. And we get the sweet pose. Love that thing.

Rating: D+. Not much here, but at the same time they did the right thing. Orton needed to beat these two to put them behind him and move on to a feud with a heel. The RKO got a pop so that’s all that matters. This was exactly what it was supposed to be. Oh and to all you morons that say one of Legacy should have gone over, you’re an idiot.

Don’t try this at home. I mean it. Do it at school or at your aunt’s house. Just DO NOT TO IT AT HOME!

Vickie and her heel Divas talk about their match. I don’t pay attention because Michelle looks good. Jillian comes in to sing and Santino shows up. He bites a Slim Jim and Jillian becomes Mae Young who of course kisses him. Another bite and it’s Mean Gene. Ok that makes things better. One more bite and it’s Melina. Dang that hair is hot.

Money in the Bank

Kofi is out first and is more or less the weakest of the three favorites. His hair looks like a buffalo came in it. He’s wearing white trunks here for some reason. He’s only been qualified for 6 days at this point. MVP is in second. No one cares. At least he’s not in red anymore. Bourne is third so we have our high flier. Three Raw guys so far. Fourth is Swagger to a nice reaction. He debuts the Angle look here and those pushups…don’t appear here.

That sucks because they rock. Shelton is 5th and he belong here. Matt gets a nice pop. Ziggler is in next and I legit forgot he both existed and was in this match. McIntyre, one of the other favorites, has the majority of his entrance cut which sucks. He’s IC Champion here in case you forgot. Kane….you need a better push. Yes I know that’s one of the biggest debates here. Get over it. He has a big black eye which might be from Shawn on Monday.

Christian gets a decent pop as the odds on favorite. There are a ton of ladders and there we go. Drew goes for it maybe 30 seconds in so of course it doesn’t work. In a cool sequence, everyone goes up but everyone else pulls them down. Bourne touches the case and FTS wants to cry. Swagger is in front of the turnbuckle, Matt is in front of him, a ladder is in front of them, Kofi is thrown into the ladder.

That…wouldn’t hurt as much as it would seem to. Ziggler almost gets there but we remember he’s Dolph Ziggler so we know it’s not ending yet. Kane powerbombs Kofi onto a ladder. Freaking OW. I’m not sure if I like the ten men or not. On one hand, it keeps things from being all boring and whatnot as you have someone getting hurt and then others coming back and then repeat. On the other hand, yeah right. Striker says some people think Swagger can carry the WWE. HA!

In a cool spot (shocking I know) there’s a ladder in the ring and Swagger is under it. Matt and Christian have a ladder each and ram it through the rungs to spear Swagger with it. I like that. Bourne and Christian fight on the ladder that’s bridged between the rope and the ladder in the middle like a scaffold. Bourne knocks Christian down and like an IDIOT hits a shooting star press onto Christian. Yeah he deserves to get beaten here.

Matt takes a front flip onto the scaffold ladder. Yeah he’s broken SMACK DAB IN HALF! Sorry the Oklahoma guy got me there for a minute. Naturally this is a spotfest, but what did you really expect? Kane gets a BIG pop when he makes a save. He throws a ladder at Ziggler which is very cool looking. Dolph gets put between a ladder and gets worn out with it. Yep it’s broken. Trouble in Paradise puts Kane down.

In a BRILLIANT spot, Kofi takes the two pieces of the ladder and walks from the corner to the middle using them as stilts. That’s AWESOME. That is why these matches stay awesome: making new spots like that. Drew makes the save but Matt stops him. I would have bet on that being the ending. Matt stays up there FOREVER but can’t get the stupid thing off. That’s just idiotic but whatever. Seriously, he has like 5 chances to get it and doesn’t do it.

Matt: YOU ARE A FREAKING IDIOT! Christian takes him down with the reverse DDT so Cole says it was a Twist of Fate. Yeah, the hint would be that Christian is ok. Swagger is back now and it’s him vs. Christian.

Swagger puts Christian down…and fiddles with the case…and fiddles with it…and writes the great American novel…and WINS THE FREAKING THING. THAT is your Mania shocker right there. No one, and I mean NO ONE saw this one coming. Match felt short, which you’ll hear a lot more tonight. Had to pause there. Norcal’s explosion is still giving us tremors.

Rating: B. This would start at a B in case you were wondering. These matches are ones that you can’t grade like a normal match based on the amount of people and the gimmick involved in them. While not as good as some of the others, the idea is cool.

Naturally WWE is going to have a PPV about it instead of letting it be a Mania exclusive but that’s their idiocy for you. Swagger winning is a legit shock though so I can complain about that one at all. Solid stuff though but I could have gone for more people in the ring at once and more spots.

Ad for Extreme Rules.

Hall of Fame time, and for once the class is AWESOME. When Mad Dog Vachon is the worst wrestler and smallest star, that’s saying A LOT. Gorgeous George’s wife is awesome. I want to see Uecker’s speech. That could be hilarious. Ted DiBiase is the best heel of all time. End of argument. Yes that includes Hogan and Flair. That laugh is just amazing.

FINK!!! He brings out the Class of 2010. The entire Hart Family represents Stu. I want to punch Bruce in the face.

We recap HHH vs. Sheamus. This was almost the world title match but they woke up and realized it should be a regular match which I can more than live with. Apparently Sheamus is jealous of HHH. That makes sense. I’d be jealous of his wife if nothing else. HHH eliminated him at Elimination Chamber to really set this up. We get Ultimate Warrior clips. That’s saying a lot.

Sheamus vs. HHH

The view from the top of the stadium with the tiny ring in there is awesome looking. They say no one has had a first year in WWE like Sheamis has. That’s true. When Lesnar did three times what Sheamus did in one year, it was WWF still. HHH gets a nice pop but it doesn’t hold up that long. Ok I’m wrong on that one. HHH has made Wrestlemania? Not sure on that one. HHH looks a tad chubby here. Maybe that’s just me. Ok the entrance is still cool.

He looks like a huge star and he’s supposed to. Talk about a contrast of skin tones here. HHH goes for a Pedigree about a minute in. That’s credited to Mania experience. Uh, why? Isn’t that called going for a finisher early? I’d want to do that in any match. Since HHH got big in the Attitude Era, we hit the floor. The figure four goes on and Flair is reference. Does that make AJ and HHH some kind of brothers? Ok, we get it: HHH is a veteran.

Oh and he’s the Ace of Spades now. What the heck does that even mean? Sheamus likes to yell when he kicks people. It’s rather annoying. Stop it. DO YOU HEAR ME YOU MILKY SKINNED IMBECILE??? Hey that actually worked. He channels his inner British Bulldog and hits a running powerslam. Nothing wrong with that. HHH breaks the momentum with a DDT. That might not work due to that hair though.

Striker: Tie your mother down, here comes HHH. So Striker has random shouts of incestuous bondage. Right. We get a nice finisher reversal sequence that ends with Sheamus hitting the bicycle kick. He gets another after HHH kicks out but both guys are down. Doesn’t that suck? HHH falls on his face and Striker says it’s experience. Lawler has some sense and says it might have been dumb luck. Thank you Lawler. And there’s a Pedigree from nowhere for the pin. Ok then.

Rating: B-. This was pretty solid I thought. It came off like a main event level match and that’s what it was supposed to do. Also, there was a big thing here about how Sheamus should have won. Ok, that’s freaking stupid. HHH is a bigger star and at the big shows, the bigger stars are supposed to win.

This guy debuted a year ago and he’s wrestling a 12 time world champion at Mania. What more do you want? It’s his best match ever by about a mile also, so this worked out fine. Good match, but not a classic like Lawler claims it is.

Slim Jim Ad. OH YEAH!

We recap Rey vs. Punk. This was a cool buildup I thought but it could have been a bit more. Rey sang Happy Birthday to his daughter and Punk interrupted him. Rey cost Punk his spot in MITB. Rey’s son Dominic is taller than he is. That’s the same kid from 05 in the Eddie feud. That’s just amusing.

Rey Mysterio vs. C.M. Punk

Oh sweet Punk has a mic. Punk needs to actually win a match once in awhile to make this gimmick work perfectly though. These promos get better every single time. Rey is dressed like a character from Avatar tonight. Oh just take me now. It can’t get stupider than this. It just can’t. Yep, Rey looks like a freaking moron dressed like that. He truly does. Gallows interferes early and it’s Punk in control. Straightedge prevails again!

Punk’s tights make me think of GI Joe for some reason. Aren’t the Na’vi really tall? See, the costume makes no sense. Punk gets a SICK kick to the side of Rey’s stupid looking head. We get a CM Punk (sucks) chant going and Rey kind of botches a backflip off the top rope into a DDT. It was close though. And Rey manages to piss me off again by doing the Eddie dance before throwing out a Frog Splash. HE IS DEAD. LET IT GO. I freaking hate the 619.

After some botched heel interference, the springboard splash ends this, saving him from joining the Straightedge Society and gaining him…nothing at all. Ok then. Not agreeing with the ending here, but it could be ok I guess. Oh and Cole says you never mess with another man’s family. I don’t see why not. Eddie did it and he gets a dozen tributes a year.

Rating: B-. Pretty good stuff here I thought. These two have decent chemistry together, but like I said I would have preferred Punk to win for a few reasons. If nothing else this could continue though so that’s a perk. Pretty solid stuff here overall.

We recap Bret vs. Vince. No way am I recapping this. If you don’t know this story by now, why are you here? The image of Vince in Bret’s sunglasses is cool.

Bret Hart vs. Vince McMahon

Man that is weird to type. Bret is in street clothes here. That’s the right thing to go with I think, as if nothing else he’s likely not in the shape he was before so why embarrass yourself? Are you listening Flair? Vince comes out and says that he has insurance for this match and it’s going to be a lumberjack match. And of course they’re the Hart Family. Bruce is a douche, period.

When they came out, it couldn’t have been much more obvious what was coming. Oh great Bruce is the referee. And of course the Harts turn on Vince before the match starts. Bret’s first punch gets a pop. Bruce, ever the douche, counts when Vince is on the floor in a match with no countouts. Vince is on the floor and the whole family beats him up including a Hart Attack from the top via the Hart Dynasty. Vince hasn’t landed a single shot.

He does however find a tire iron under the ring. Bret gets about 10 shots in with the tire iron over a few minutes. He goes for the legs and the fans go nuts. Nope not yet. Nice tease there though. He sets for it again but it’s a low blow instead. Good to see some old Bret stuff in there. David slides in a chair…which Bret sits down in. Ok this is a bit awkward. Also it’s amusing that Lawler is behind Bret here when he used to HATE Bret.

SWEET chair shot from Bret. He goes OFF on him with it for a total of TWENTY chairshots, breaking Austin’s record of shots to Rock at X7. And then he puts on the Sharpshooter and kills the Montreal Screwjob forever. Vince literally did not hit anything, not even a punch.

Rating: A+. Now before X jumps down my throat for this, you have to consider what this was about. This wasn’t about a competitive match or storytelling or anything like that. This was about Bret getting revenge on Vince. Vince never should have gotten anything in here and literally he didn’t.

Bret completely destroyed him for ten minutes and then the match ended with Vince giving up to the Sharpshooter. That is all you could have wanted out of this and the most infamous moment in wrestling history can be laid to rest. That alone makes this perfect.

Now can we make Bruce Hart fall into a hole?

Mania 27 will be in Atlanta.

The attendance is announced. That’s always cool. Of course we launch fireworks that few in the arena can see. Ok then.

We recap Edge vs. Jericho, which is a simple revenge story. This year they kept things simple and it worked very well. Jericho was showing some emotion here and it worked very well. Oh and spear, spear, SPEAR!

Smackdown World Title: Chris Jericho vs. Edge

This should be good from an in ring perspective if nothing else. Edge looks to have lost a bit of weight. They start by feeling each other out as you would expect I would assume. It is a bit odd that they try to make their tag title reign sound important when they were together what, maybe a month? Jericho and Edge trained together? I don’t remember that. Jericho is controlling which is what you would expect. Oddly there was no control period by Edge. That’s most odd.

Hey, did you know Jericho beat Austin and Rock in the same night? Edge hits a nice running clothesline from the apron to the floor. It’s the simple moves that work the best sometimes. Edge hits a sunset flip from the middle rope. Ok then. Codebreaker is blocked. Pretty good match so far. Edge, complete with the great looking eyes, goes for a spear but in a SWANK counter, Jericho jumps over and more or less gets a schoolboy into the Walls.

Since Edge is a face though he doesn’t tap. Has that ever beaten a prominent face? The Edgecution hits but of course it’s not called that anymore because the announcers suck. They point out that Jericho never gets hurt. That’s very true actually. Jericho goes for a spear but winds up hitting the Codebreaker for two. Jericho goes for the ankle which makes sense. As someone with very bad ankle problems, it really is smart to go after them if you’re fighting someone.

Walls go on again but Jericho switches to a half crab. Well he did train with Lance Storm. The crowd is having fun with this. He gets to the ropes in case you were wondering. Jericho goes for the belt but that doesn’t work. Ok never mind it does since the referee goes down. A really bad Codebreaker gets the clean pin.

I would not have seen that one coming at all. Post match, Edge gets him on one of the tables and after a running start, spears the living tar out of Jericho into a barrier which clearly will be an injury spot.

Rating: A-. That’s likely too high but I really liked this match. It was entertaining the whole time through but it needed a few more minutes. I really like the surprise ending where Edge loses when he was more or less seen as a lock. That’s risky booking but here I think it came off very well. Very good match and definitely the best of the night so far.

We talk about the battle royal before Mania which Tatsu won. Good for him.

Face Divas vs. Heel Divas

Seriously do the rosters matter here? It’s 5 on 5. That’s all you need to know. Vickie is one of the heels so of course she’ll be the focus of the whole match. Beth looks great in white. That is all. So everyone beats up Vickie until Michelle makes a save. They alternate back and forth with everyone coming in and hitting someone with a finisher until we’re left with Beth and Vickie. Michelle puts Beth down and Vickie hits a “Hog Splash” on Kelly for the win. She managed to botch a cover. That’s hard to do. This was like 3 minutes long.

Rating: F. Seriously, what the heck was this? Eddie, I never thought you were anywhere near what people made you out to be, but you deserve better than this.

Time for Cena vs. Batista. I know you know the story so I’ll spare you the details. The crowd exploded for the graphic coming onscreen.

WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Batista

Love them or hate them, this is THE money match right here. Period and end of story. There is no other combination that is a selling point like this is right here. This is what Mania is supposed to be about: the biggest stars in the world squaring off for the world championship. I’ve loved the buildup for this and it was what I was looking forward to more than anything. Oh and Cena’s thing this year is a group of Air Force drill people spinning rifles until Cena runs through them.

Far better than last year if nothing else. We start with the feeling out period as the announcers argue over who is stronger. That’s an interesting argument actually. The idea is Cena’s neck injury from about a year and a half ago is still bothering him. Sure why not? Batista counters the FU into a DDT that was PAINFUL looking. Apparently if your opponent’s arms and legs go limp, he’s in trouble. Ladies and gentlemen, the insights of Matt Striker!

If your opponent is losing the ability to support their own weight, THEY COULD BE IN TROUBLE! And the fans have already turned on Cena with the Boo/Yay thing. And then there’s a very face pop for the Five Knuckle Shuffle which is countered into a spinebuster. You would think there would be a shift to booing there but not really. STFU is hooked and we’ve cranked it into a higher gear. In a cool spot, we hit a test of strength on the top rope. That’s new if nothing else.

Five Knuckle Shuffle from the top as he channels his inner Jannetty. Yes, a Marty Jannetty move landed in a Mania main event. Batista Bomb gets two and a mouth from Batista that could swallow Molly Holly’s head. Jannetty and Molly Holly got mentioned in this match. Wow. Cena gets a SWEET counter into the FU out of a reversed Batista Bomb. He rolled from slipping over the shoulders to what looked like a tombstone to the FU.

Amazing and he threw Batista about a mile but it only got two. In almost the same spot that his neck got hurt in, Batista catches Cena in a spinebuster from the top. ANOTHER Batista Bomb is countered into the STFU for the tap. It looked like a weak version but the shot of Batista’s leg made up for it. Cena being named a 9 time champion just makes it seem a bit weak though as it always does.

Post match, Cena celebrates with the crowd and we see a guy saying Cena sucks and Cena acknowledges him. That right there is something I freaking LOVE about Cena. Guys like Hogan got a mixed reaction like that and acted like they were still the most over thing ever. I’ve always hated that as it’s just idiotic.

It’s like when WCW said there isn’t a seat to be found as we scan over the crowd seeing all the tarped off areas and empty seats. Cena talks about the booing. It makes him seem more down to Earth which I like for a change.

Rating: A. Sweet match here as these two continue to be the Austin/Rock of their generation. Like I said this is the money match of this generation. The chemistry here is undeniable as Cena is one of the few guys that brings out the best in Batista. This is what a Wrestlemania main event match should be about and it delivered in a big way.

Another Extreme Rules ad.

And now, it is time. This had to be the last match, period. Flair vs. Shawn should have been as well but that’s another story. I’m again not bothering to explain this one as it’s Career vs. Streak. End of explanation. They call it the most anticipated match in Mania history. Not sure on that one.

The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels

Well here we go. This is one of two matches this show was sold on so you know it’s going to be good considering who’s in it. This many years after he debuted, Taker’s entrance is still awesome. Taker is rocking something that makes him look a bit like a boxer which works. We hit the staredown and Shawn does Taker’s throat slit. Keep that in mind. Taker dominates early, hitting Snake Eyes and Old School in the first minute or so.

He tweeks his knee on Old School though and Shawn goes for it. Old guys know psychology. Shawn goes for the arm which makes sense as it takes away the Tombstone and Last Ride. Oh and remember there are no count outs or DQs. Both finishers miss and the crowd is liking this a lot. And now back to the knee. The arm work was brief so that’s fine. Taker teases the rope dive but Shawn slides in and takes out the knee again. Good after what happened with that move last year.

Shawn busts out a figure four and much like Flair, PUTS IT ON THE WRONG LEG. The straight leg gets hurt. How hard is that to get? Nip Up is caught in a chokeslam. I like how he just launches him with those at times. An ankle lock is on as Shawn is fine maybe 8 seconds later. He gets the heel hook out of it and Taker is in trouble. He gets out though because Shawn isn’t an American hero. Shawn gets tombstoned on the floor. Ok then.

Shawn is dead apparently. Someone comes out to check on him and of course the match keeps going. Striker, CALM DOWN! The Last Ride hits but Shawn kind of counters into an X Factor so the impact is lessened. I can forgive him for being up quickly for that. Shawn gets out of Hell’s Gate with a nifty counter where he jumps over into a rollup. That was ni…SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Of course it gets two but that came from nowhere. The camera missed most of it.

I love stuff like that as it makes things feel more shocking. Taker blocks another kick and hits the biggest Last Ride ever for two. Shawn was at least 11 feet in the air. Awesome looking. Taker looks pissed.

And now, we go to the floor. This might not end well. Why do they take such care of the monitors? I’ve never gotten that. And I mean in kayfabe before you freak out on me. Taker goes for a Last Ride through the table but Shawn counters and hits Sweet Chin Music to put Taker on it. He slowly climbs up to the top rope and launches a picture perfect moonsault.

Now if only he had hit Taker’s chest and not his leg. I legit thought his leg was seriously hurt for a bit until he got up on it a bit later. Back in the ring Shawn hits the THIRD superkick and IT gets two. This isn’t quite last year’s match but it’s VERY close. Another kick is blocked into a chokeslam but his knee is out. Tombstone also gets two and the crowd is losing it over these twos. Taker is PISSED. There go the straps. Shawn hasn’t moved yet.

Taker starts the throat slit but can’t finish it. Just like he did for Jeff Hardy, he can’t bring himself to hurt him anymore. After he shouts at Shawn to stay down, Shawn does his own throat slit, admitting he just can’t do it. He then does the unthinkable and slaps Taker. This was four days ago and 3000 miles from me and the look on Taker’s face scared the heck out of me. Taker is livid and picks up Michaels for a JUMPING TOMBSTONE.

Shawn is of course legally dead now and the career ends. No music plays at first, which is a very nice touch. The crowd isn’t sure what to do. I collapsed when he got the pin on my first viewing and it’s still a tiring match to watch. Taker staggers up and does his pose as 18-0 flashes up on the screen.

That, to say the least, is mind blowing. More on that later. Taker gets him to his feet and they shake hands like they should do. It’s Shawn’s moment as Mr. Wrestlemania gets a standing ovation. He walks up the ramp, and Jerry Lawler puts is perfectly: Shawn, it’s over. Good-bye. Thank you.

Rating: A+. It’s not as good as last year’s was, but this was an epic match to say the least. We knew who was going to win, but that’s ok here to me. The ending was perfect as Shawn gave up and was defiant until the end. If someone is going to end it, Taker is a fine choice and the angle was perfect.

It’s a very emotional match, but that takes nothing away from the quality of it. The best word I can think of for this is satisfying. Everything you could want is in here and it’s a fitting end to the show. Shawn, I was never a big fan of your’s, but your career was remarkable to put it as low as I can. I’ll miss you.

Overall Rating: A. GREAT Mania. Nothing at all feels slow on here at all. Even the Divas match is at least fast paced and at three and a half minutes with hot women, how much can you really complain? This had it all as there is history, title changes, surprised, tons of emotion and a perfect card. Shocky made a comment that it’s in the top three Manias ever and he might be on to something actually.

It’s behind 17 for me and off the top of my head that’s it from a quality standpoint but I haven’t thought about it much. This was a great show though with the big matches all being great and the others being very good as well. Nothing was truly bad other than the Divas match which is totally overlookable. Great Mania and ABSOLUTELY worth seeing. I loved it.

And now for three bonus sections. Of course I’m going to do more for a Mania review. It’s the biggest show of the year and I started my reviews with Mania.

To begin with, this Mania set up the upcoming year rather well. As always, Mania marks both the beginning and the end of the year. Cena is back on top which is fine as he should be there. Jericho was a shocker to retain for me and maybe they’re showing confidence in him.

Swagger, Sheamus, Punk, Christian, Kofi and others are ready to take this company over while the current generation of stars in Cena, Batsita, Orton and HHH can more than hold down the fort and bring those guys up. That’s how you have a good company: a well rounded new generation that is ready to take over. I have high hopes for the company as the roster is clicking and the stories have been great thanks to them slowing things down and going with basic angles.

The older generation is dying away as Montreal is finally laid to rest and Shawn is retired now. That’s how things should be as guys from 8 years ago like Cena and Orton are the top guys now and they have been groomed for these spots. I have high hopes for this company as this is the best its looked in many a year.

Item number two is the Streak. This my friends, is the most amazing achievement in wrestling history. “But KB, all it means is he’s been booked strong at one point a year.” Yeah that’s hogwash. To begin with, the Streak didn’t mean anything until 2001. I don’t think it was even mentioned until around that time. Second, think of this. Shawn Michaels is called Mr. Wrestlemania. He’s wrestled at that show 17 times.

Mr. Wrestlemania has not competed at Wrestlemania as many times as Taker has won there. Let that sink in for a moment. The Streak is an angle in and of itself. What was the argument between Shawn and Taker over both times? Nothing other than beating Taker at Wrestlemania.

There is no equivalent to it in all of wrestling and there never will be. To even be around for 18 years is an accomplishment. The thing is just amazing and hopefully it will never die. It’s my favorite part of the show and it never fails to deliver.

And now we move to the white elephant in the room. Shawn Michaels, arguably the best performer ever, has retired. Like I said I was never the biggest Shawn fan, but to deny his talent or the impact he had on wrestling would be ridiculously unfair to him and his legacy. He changed the way a lot of wrestlers perform and there are many reasons why, all of which you can see by watching him.

He stole the show so many times and retired as better than probably 95% of the wrestlers in the world. He went out on top on his own terms which is all you can want. He was one of the best ever and maybe the best ever, but that’s an argument for another time. I’m sad to see him go, but glad that he went out like this. In his speech the next night on Raw he more or less said he wasn’t going to TNA which is great as he would likely wind up jobbing to people beneath him.

Also, if he ever wants to, Vince would welcome him back with open arms. His exit was classy and perfectly done and to me it would be a shame if he came back, but I could live with it. It’s sad to see him go, but nice at the same time as he can go in peace. Have a good retirement Shawn. You’ve earned it.

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