WWE Champion The Rock and Triple H were absent from the show this week. Because of that and blatant product placements in the form of match previews and movie trailers the show lacked that “Pre-Wrestlemania feel.” If not for the mammoth-sized card, the show would have dragged horribly. Even with it, the show, at times, felt forced.
The opening segment montage and Undertaker’s entrance were a fitting salute to the late Bill Moody, but they led to a nice moment for CM Punk. The Best in the World’s promo at the start of the show won’t be remembered forever, but the words, “To Paul Bearer, you will always be perfect,” were stellar.
These guys look ready to have a match for the ages at Wrestlemania. That is enough to make this year’s big event mean something.
Seth Rollins w/Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns vs. Big Show: The match lasted only a few seconds before The Shield jumped on Show to get the match thrown out. After the match, Reigns hit the spear and soon enough, the trio triple Powerbombed the Big Show.
WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler w/AJ Lee and Big E. Langston: Bryan worked on Ziggler’s arm for a nice chunk of the match, but was unable to truly take control, thanks to Langston. Ziggler countered a series of Bryan high impact moves and even added a Rocker-Dropper, but couldn’t put Bryan away. Bryan administered the “No Lock,” but Langston managed to get Ziggler’s leg to the ropes. A few seconds later, “The Show-Off” caught Bryan with the Zig-Zag for the win. After the match, Langston nailed Bryan with his finisher as well.
Tensai w/Brodus Clay, Naomi and Cameron vs. Fandango: The dancing heel refused to wrestle once again after Tensai couldn’t get his name right. Fandango did seem mighty interested in Naomi though.
Billy Gunn and Road Dogg vs. Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow: Just when the match got started, Brock Lesnar hit the ring and gave both members of the New Age Outlaws their own F-5. Have a nice day five-time former tag team champions.
Mark Henry vs. Kofi Kingston: Henry ironically nailed Kingston with a kick that sent him to the outside. Although Kingston battled back with a few nice spots on the outside, Henry soon rebounded and caught Kingston in mid-air, countering a top rope cross body into the World’s Strongest Slam for the win.
Ryback vs. Heath Slater w/ Jinder Mahal and Drew MacIntyre: Over before it began-Meathook clothesline and The Shellshock. Game over. MacIntyre got the finisher afterward as well. Mark Henry then hit the ring and gave MacIntyre the World’s Strongest Slam. Then, they did it again. Poor MacIntyre caught four finishers in less than two minutes.
World Champion Alberto Del Rio w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Antonio Cesaro: The champion had his way early and often with Cesaro. After a Titl-a-Whirl backbreaker and Del Rio’s other signature offense, Cesaro almost won with a vicious European Uppercut. Cesaro then went for a German suplex, but Del Rio countered into the Arm-Breaker for the submission win.
Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow vs. Sheamus and Randy Orton: Both teams traded offense in a technically proficient, but uninspiring tag match. Orton eventually RKOed Rhodes, while Sheamus hit the Brogue Kick on Sandow.
The Miz vs. Chris Jericho: The nine-time Intercontinental Champion had the Walls of Jericho on his mind throughout the match. Although the The Miz had some spots, Jericho was in control throughout. Wade Barrett eventually joined the party and got the match thrown out. Soon after, Barrett received the Skull-Crushing Finale and the Code Breaker.
Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter vs. Sin Cara: The luchadore had some interesting high-flying spots early on, but Swagger quickly worked on Cara’s ankle and won with the Patriot Lock.
No DQ: WWE Tag Team Champion Kane vs. CM Punk: This was a stiff match that took place more on the outside than in the ring. The two veterans traded offense and didn’t hold back. Coming off an amazing match with John Cena two weeks, ago, Punk had another fantastic match. This one however, was a different beast. Following a DDT on a chair, Punk looked like he was in control, but The Undertaker’s music caught him by surprise. That allowed Kane to hit the Chokeslam for the win. After the match, Punk beat up Kane with Paul Bearer’s urn and ran out of the ring.