Wrestlemania 29 is in the books. Last night's "Showcase of the Immortals" took place at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. I attended last night's show and since this was my first ever Wrestlemania that I attended, I was looking forward to four matches that was previously reported about and the crowd reaction during those matches.
Since this year's Wrestlemania took place in the Metropolitan New York/New Jersey area, the WWE had to bring their best effort. The fans in this area of the country are some the smartest fans in the world so it would do the WWE no favors to present a subpar effort at the show. They did not disappoint for the most part. On to the reactions.
Jack Swagger vs. Alberto Del Rio for Del Rio's World Heavyweight Championship: This was the match that the crowd was most disappointed about. While it was a good match that told a very good story that had been building for weeks, the crowd was chanting for Dolph Ziggler throughout the match. Ziggler has been carrying a guaranteed title shot for the Heavyweight title for almost a year and everyone at the stadium assumed that Sunday would be the night that he cashes in and wins the title. As the crowd started to chant "We want Ziggler" louder and louder, the match continued until Del Rio slapped on the cross armbreaker for the victory. As Del Rio's music played in victory, the crowd was still waiting for Ziggler's music to no avail. Del Rio walked to the back and the crowd collectively groaned. This was the only match of the night where the crowd felt that they were duped out of a Wrestlemania moment.
CM Punk vs. The Undertaker: For a match that was thrown together, this was the match of the night. 4 out of 5 stars rated bout, the match features numerous counters of moves and about 28 near falls. It even featured a table spot where the table did not break, which in wrestling hurts very badly. In full disclosure, I was one of the guys in the parking lot yelling that The Undertaker's 20-0 Wrestlemania streak would end on Sunday to Punk and there were a few times where I thought it was going to happen. I biggest misconception about this feud was that fans just assumed that Punk had no shot of winning this match when it was first announced. As the weeks went on, the opinions of fans changed and many started believing that Punk could end The Undertaker's streak. The crowd was on their feet for the entire match and the excitement of this match easily bested every other match with the exception of the main event.
Brock Lesnar vs. Triple H in a No Holds Barred Match: This match had the honor of following Punk vs. Undertaker and they could not have been happy about that. The crowd was at its most silent at this point of the night. I even chanted "Boring" as the match just moved at a snail's pace. I think many people were still talking about the previous match and how if Cena won, they would all riot ... as a match was taking place in the ring. Triple H for his credit took a major beating in the match but the fans were wondering why Shawn Michaels was even there for and why it seemed that Lesnar just seemed uninterested in the match. Bad match and the fans in the crowd, including myself, were bored to death.
John Cena vs. The Rock for Rock's WWE Championship: This was the main event and the crowd was into this one. Mainly because of the hatred we all have for Cena. Dueling "Let's go Cena, Cena sucks" chants around MetLife Stadium was the norm for the entire 25 minute match with the action alternating between Cena and Rock taking over the match. The problem with the match was that at least in my section of the stadium where I was sitting, the outcome was pretty much known ... John Cena would walk out as the WWE Champion. Even when the three count was done, the crowd was still booing and throwing things in anger that Cena was the champion. While The Rock performed admirably, the fact was that he was very sloppy in the ring as one fan told me during the match. That's what happens when your champion is a part time champion.
Overall the live experience was amazing and while the WWE can put on a show, the reason for attending a Wrestlemania are for fans to hang out and talk wrestling with other fans as I did with numerous people when I arrived at the stadium at 3 p.m.
What made the show special for me was that it took place in my home state of New Jersey. While we get a bad rap, to have a show as big and well-known as Wrestlemania in my state, it was an honor to attend and watch live in person. Here's to the next New Jersey Wrestlemania and hopefully it is a little warmer than last night.