Wrestlemania 29 Results
Sunday, April 7, 2013
From MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey
Report by Sean Hopkins & Richard Gray of WrestlingNewsWorld.com
The Wrestlemania 29 Pre-Show is airing live here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com. I'll (Richard) be writing play-by-play for it so if you miss it live you can catch up here. I'll be providing Richard Reacts for the next six hours. Thanks for joining us, let's make this the biggest Wrestlemania in website history!
Wrestlemania 29 Pre-Show
The Wrestlemania Pre-Show goes live with video of Vince McMahon's "big reveal" Friday showing off the Wrestlemania 29 setup inside MetLife Stadium. We have at it online at this link for those that missed it.
Josh Mathews gives us the welcome and MetLife Stadium is packed. It's a huge spectacle folks as nearly 80,000 will pack the stadium for Wrestlemania. The Pre-Show will feature Wade Barrett defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship against The Miz. Mathews and Matt Striker are shown at ringside. The incredible crowd behind them is something to see. Scott Stanford and Renee Young have the pay-per-view hype show going on simultaneously.
We go up to Scott Stanford who is in a box upstairs. Jim Ross, Kofi Kingston and Dusty Rhodes are sitting at a desk like you would see at halftime of an American football broadcast. Jim Ross talks about Wrestlemania 9 being his first Wrestlemania and puts over the crowd.
Kofi Kingston says the place is about to erupt and the New York/New Jersey area is the foundation of WWE. Dusty Rhodes says let me tell you something about Wrestlemania and WWE and dreams are about to be fulfilled tonight but there are issues about to be solved, careers on the line and streaks being defended. Rhodes says it's going to be something big.
Stanford runs down the card. They roll a video package on Alberto Del Rio defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Jack Swagger. They air clips from Zeb Colter and Swagger videos and the storyline that also involves Ricardo Rodriguez.
Following the package, Stanford says it's very clear both Swagger and Del Rio love this country. JR says Jack Swagger is not the same athlete that he met at the University of Oklahoma. He says Swagger is very focused. Kofi Kingston says he's never seen Alberto Del Rio this angry. Rhodes says Del Rio made a great point when you think about achieving "the American dream" that no place is better than right here at Wrestlemania tonight. Rhodes is picking him to do it tonight.
They air the official Wrestlemania 29 Music Video that we have online at this link.
There is a timer counting down as we're just over 48 minutes until the pay-per-view begins. Mathews plugs Tout as Matt Striker stresses urgency to order. If you text MANIA30 to 59907 you can enter to win two tickets to Wrestlemania XXX next year in New Orleans. They talk about Triple H's career being on the line tonight and role a video package.
Richard Reacts: The desk setup with Scott Stanford hosting Jim Ross, Kofi Kingston and Dusty Rhodes is awesome. I wish they did this type of thing more often as I feel it helps the show look more like a legitimate sporting event.
Stanford questions whether or not Hunter is ready to walk away. Rhodes discusses what exactly is at stake at the pay-per-view and goes over the No Holds Barred stipulation. Kofi says it's very, very personal and tonight's match is going to be a mess. We go to Tony Dawson who is outside with the tailgating fans.
We're backstage with The Miz and Snooki (backstage photos here). He congratulates her for being a new MILF - a mother he'd like to friend. WWE Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett comes into the segment. He says he's the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time and deserves something more far superior than slumming it here with them. Miz says tonight he takes the one thing that makes Wade Barrett relevant, hashtag the Intercontinental Championship.
They encourage viewers to Tout their favorite Wrestlemania moments with the hashtag #ManiaMoments. Striker says you want to be here because there will be moments you won't want to miss. Striker hypes Ryback vs. Mark Henry as they roll footage from the bench press competition on Smackdown a couple weeks ago. They show footage from last week's Raw.
Renee Young is backstage with Mark Henry to talk about his Wrestlemania match against Ryback. He questions if Ryback matched his strength and power on Smackdown. He says he'll be gassed and flat on his face again tonight. He says tonight will be memorable for Ryback because it's the night he's going to get entered into the Hall of Pain.
Stanford questions whether or not Henry can be beaten. Kofi says today we are all going to find out who the man is. Dusty Rhodes says Mark Henry is a bad man so it's a big coming out party for Ryback. He'll definitely get fed more. Jim Ross picks Mark Henry to win on experience. They show footage from Thursday's Wrestlemania 29 Press Conference. We have a full recap online at this link.
87,000 fans is the expected Wrestlemania attendance according to Scott Stanford. They talk about Undertaker vs. CM Punk and show video clips recapping the feud, including the stuff with Paul Bearer. Stanford says he doesn't want to steal one of JR's words but Punk-Undertaker is going to be some kind of slobber knocker. JR says Punk has been the MVP of WWE but Undertaker will go 21-0. They go to a commercial break for WWEShop.com.
We're under a half hour until Wrestlemania 29 and back out to Tony Dawson. They show video clips of fans saying what they are most excited to see at Wrestlemania 29. The show the "favorite Wrestlemania Touts" that were sent in earlier. Judah Friedlander from "30 Rock" was shown. They promote Randy Orton, Sheamus & Big Show vs. The Shield. Roll video footage recapping the feud.
Stanford asks Dusty Rhodes how important cohesiveness is in stopping The Shield. Kofi says there is nothing more dangerous than a team that is clicking on all cilinders and that is exactly what The Shied is doing. JR is picking The Shield. The Intercontinental Championship is on the line up next.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
- Wade Barrett (c) vs. The Miz
The Miz comes out to a pop from the crowd. The setting is far from intimate but it's a huge spectacle. Wade Barrett comes out next to jeers from the crowd. He holds up the Intercontinental Championship title belt on his way down the ramp to the ring.
The referee holds the belt to signify the title is on the line. The bell rings and this one is underway. Wade Barrett gets control first with right hands. He attempts a suplex but Miz counters. They both counter as Miz gets a roll-up for the first counter and a two count.
Barrett asserts himself on Miz in the corner. He feeds vicious right hands to the face of The Miz. He picks up his opponent and set him on the top rope. He hammers the back on Miz and the referee backs him off. Barrett lands a high knee on Miz and he gets a two count of his own.
Barrett works on Miz, who is now caught up in the ropes. Miz counters with a kick to the face Barrett. Miz has some space to regroup. He goes off the ropes and sends Barrett down. A couple of counters before hitting a swinging beckbreaker. Two count for Miz on Wade Barett.
Barrett counters and goes for Wasteland. Miz counters and goes for the Skull Crushing Finale. They exchange counters but Barrett snatches Miz out of mid-air and gets a two count. Barrett goes for the bull hammer elbow. He can't get it as Miz is going for the figure-four leglock. He locks it in as Barrett tries to get to the ropes. He makes it and Miz has to break the hold.
Wade rakes Miz in the face and connects with Wasteland. Miz kicks out after two! Miz issues a unique takedown on Barrett and locks back in the figure-four leglock. Barrett taps in Ric Flair's finisher.
Winner & new WWE Intercontinental Champion - The Miz
The Miz celebrates at ringside with his mother who is sitting in the front road. He holds the title high on his way to the back, welcoming fans to Wrestlemania!
Richard Reacts: The first title change has happened. This was a good match for the limited amount of time they were given. They worked extremely hard and the false finish with Miz kicking out of Wasteland was surprising and very well-executed. The figure-four was a great tribute to Nature Boy with the loudest pops of the night so far being the "wooo" chants.
Jim Ross says he loves The Miz won with the figure-four leglock. Scott Stanford asks Kofi Kingston if this is a must-win for John Cena. Kofi says absolutely it's a must-win situation for John Cena. Dusty Rhodes sometimes it's not good to dwell on something for a whole year. JR says Cena better throw out everything that happened last year because the WWE title is involved. Under 30 minutes, The Rock wins. If it goes over 30 minutes, Jim Ross is picking Cena to win the title. Kofi says Cena made a mistake last year by showboating and that cost him the match. Rhodes says this is going to be an "epic battle." They air a video package recapping The Rock vs. John Cena II.
That's it for the Pre-Show. Our pay-per-view coverage begins on the next page.
Wrestlemania 29 Show Open
The show opens with a video package about Hurricane Sandy, and the aftermath of the super-storm. The video talks about all the things that people lost, some even losing their lives. In the end, the video focuses on the resiliency of people, especially those in New York and New Jersey. The video is narrated by Governor Chris Christe, who welcomes everyone to WrestleMania.
Michael Cole welcomes us to the show, and points out some of the National Guard members in attendance, saying they've been instrumental in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. This leads us into another video package.
This video package highlights WrestleMania moments. Footage is shown from past 'Manias, and more hype is thrown toward the big matches of the evening. Back to the stadium and Michael Cole welcomes us to WrestleMania once more.
Six-Man WWE Tag Team Match
- Sheamus, Randy Orton & Big Show vs. The Shield
Sheamus' music hits, and the Irishman makes his way out to the ring for the first contest of the main show. Randy Orton is out to the top of the ramp next, to a big pop from the crowd. Big Show is the last man out for his team, and the three make their way down to the ring as a unit to a decent reaction from the crowd. Randy Orton is out to the top of the ramp next, to a big pop from the crowd. Big Show is the last man out for his team, and the three make their way down to the ring as a unit to a decent reaction from the crowd.
The Shield is out next, still coming out of the crowd at the biggest event of the year. It's a pretty awesome sight to see Rollins, Ambrose and Reigns standing tall over a sea of fans before making their way to the ringside area.
Reigns and Sheamus look to kick things off. They start off with a lockup and Reigns pushes Sheamus into the corner. Sheamus fights out and takes Reigns across the ring. The two trade position, each landing a couple of punches before Reigns hits a back elbow, and Sheamus lands a running forearm. Reigns tries for a hip toss, but Sheamus lands a couple of big rights and a clothesline to drop Reigns for a one count. Orton tags in and drops a big knee on Reigns face before stomping away at the big man's joints.
Reigns tags out to Rollins who walks right into a dropkick from Orton. Orton takes Rollins into the corner and hits him with repeated right hands before hitting a rope assisted suplex. Sheamus tags back in and hits Rollins with a couple of big clubbing blows, but Rollins hits a low dropkick that allows him to tag out to Ambrose. Ambrose stomps away at Sheamus repeatedly, but Sheamus fights back, slamming Ambrose to the mat hard for a two count. Big Show tags in and takes Ambrose into the corner, stipping off his vest and hitting him with an open hand chop to the chest.
Ambrose slaps Show, so Show comes back with a series of chops to the chest. Show hits a splash in the corner, but Ambrose recovers with a low dropkick to Show's knee. Rollins tags in and hits Show with a series of kicks that's good for a two count. Reigns tags in and takes Show to the mat for another near fall before hitting a big clubbing blow to the back of Show's head. Ambrose tags in and goes wild, hitting Show with wild blows to his back and head. Ambrose grinds his forearm into Show's face before tagging out to Rollins. Rollins puts a knee across Show's throat for a bit before backing up and hitting a running knee to Show's chest for another near fall.
Reigns tags in and clamps on a rear chin lock, trying to wear down the giant even more. Orton and Sheamus look a bit antsy in their corner. Show is able to stand to his feet, and hit a belly to back suplex to break the hold. Reigns makes the tag to Rollins, who comes in and takes Orton off the apron with a big kick. Show makes the tag to Sheamus who wipes Rollins out with a running knee. Sheamus takes Rollins out to the apron and rips off his vest before hitting him with a series of clubbing blows to the chest. Ambrose tags in and walks right into the same series of clubbing blows on the apron from Sheamus. Sheamus shoulders Ambrose for a rolling senton, then does the same to Rollins, dropping him on top of Ambrose. Sheamus heads to the top, but he's pulled to the floor by Reigns and everyone attacks. It's broken up by Orton momentarily, until the numbers catch up to Orton and Sheamus.
Back in the ring, the Shield try for the triple powerbomb on Sheamus, but it's broken up out of nowhere by a spear from the Big Show. Sheamus struggles to reach his corner and Orton sneaks the tag. He hits a couple of clotheslines on Ambrose before planting him with a snap powerslam. Orton takes Ambrose to the apron and hits the suspension DDT and Show looks pretty upset. Orton drops to the mat, and Rollins leaps into the ring out of nowhere, eating an RKO. Reigns hits Orton with a spear, and Ambrose pins the Viper for a three count.
Winners: The Shield
Following the match, The Shield leave through the crowd triumphantly. Orton is slow to get to his feet and he and Show start arguing immediately. Show hits Sheamus with a KO punch for some reason, then when Orton questions him, Show hits him with a KO punch as well. The crowd boos Show, who simply steps over the top rope and heads to the back.
Richard Reacts: This was a hot opener that continues the momentum of The Shield. The other wins would have been rendered pointless had they gone under clean. The Shield is still being booked as the dominant three-man team that can't be stopped. The crowd got hot in spurts but it's difficult to gauge reaction in a stadium. This will be a problem throughout the night. Reigns hit his head pretty hard on the canvas in the opening sequence but seemed to be OK. JBL had an epic quote after Seth Rollins performed a suicide dive to the outside - "These guys wrestle like they're in someone else's body."
Rollins and Ambrose being able to bring their style, the style that made them famous, into WWE and booked with confidence is a dream come true for me. I hope my fellow IWCers are pleased with this outcome as there was nothing wrong with this match. Sheamus, Orton and Big Show worked hard too. Show continued to prove his versatility as well.
Michael Cole turns his attention to John Cena vs. The Rock, throwing things to a video package highlighting their match from last year, and Cena's journey to redemption in the match over the year since that match.
Cole and Lawler talk about the 'celebrities' in attendance tonight, calling out Snookie and blowing their credibility immediately.
- Mark Henry vs. Ryback
Mark Henry's music hits, and the World's Strongest Man makes his way out to the ring while the events of the past few weeks are replayed.
Ryback is out to the ring next, and the fourth man to make his WrestleMania debut gets a nice little pop after his pyro hits. Ryback calls for the fans to get pumped up on his way to the ring, and they oblige.
The bell rings and Henry and Ryback are slow to start, walking toward each other for a stare down and a bit of trash talk. They back away from each other and run into each other. Neither man budges. They run into each other again with the same result. Henry hits a right, so Ryback responds with one of his own. Ryback tries to clothesline Henry but he doesn't go down. On the third attempt, Henry hits a clothesline that puts Ryback down. Henry shoulders Ryback and slams him to the mat hard for a one count.
Henry sends Ryback into the ropes, then eats a kick to the chest. Ryback tries for a suplex, but Henry suplexes Ryback into the ropes. Ryback ends up on the apron and Henry whips him into the ring post. Ryback stands, and Henry hits him with a clothesline that sends him falling to the floor. There's a 'let's go Goldberg' chant going on in the crowd. Ryback heads back into the ring and Henry hits him with a big forearm to the back, then a second. Henry clamps down on Ryback with a bear hug. Ryback attempts to fight out of it, but Henry turns it around. Ryback reaches for the ropes, but Henry pulls him back and slams him into the corner.
Henry clotheslines Ryback over the top rope and says that's what he do. The ref counts, but Ryback is able to make it back into the ring at 9. Henry blasts Ryback with a kick before hitting him with a couple of clubbing blows to the back. Ryback tries to fight back, so Henry hits a right and locks him in another bear hug. Ryback struggles to break out of the hold, but Henry just breaks it and slams Ryback to the mat. Henry puts Ryback in another bear hug and we get a bit of a 'boring' chant starting up. Ryback hits Henry with a series of rights before backing him into the corner and burying his shoulder in Henry's stomach. Ryback hits a big clothesline in the corner before hitting the meat hook clothesline to drop Henry.
Henry gets to his feet and Ryback shoulders him. Henry holds on to the ropes and Ryback falls to the mat with Henry on top of him. Henry pins Ryback for three.
Winner: Mark Henry
Henry starts to head out of the ring, but he turns around and scares off the trainers and ref checking on Ryback. He turns his back for too long though as he turns around into a spinebuster from Ryback. Ryback shoulders Henry a second time and marches around for a bit before dropping Henry with the shell shock.
Richard Reacts: That was brutal. The crowd was apathetic until Ryback shouldered Mark Henry. What I don't understand is the finish. Ryback pops the crowd and takes the loss. Logic says, well he was too exhausted and needed medical attention. The problem with this is they had Ryback get up and DO IT AGAIN and hit Shell Shock. Ryback "fails up" better than anyone I've ever seen as he's jobbing his way to the top. The crowd continues to cheer him despite the fact he continues to go under despite originally being slated for a "Goldberg-type" push. Horrible match but what'd you expect?
Michael Cole announces a special partnership for the Special Olympics that the WWE will be taking part in, this leads to a short video promo, and the introduction of some of the Special Olympic athletes, and personnel, as well as Governor Chris Christie.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
- Team Hell No (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Big E Langston
Dolph Ziggler and Big E Langston are the first two men to make their way out to the ring, accompanied by AJ Lee. Footage is shown of Raw where Big E Langston took out Kane and cause a distraction, allowing Ziggler to beat Daniel Bryan, all before heading into the ring and taking out both Bryan and Kane single-handedly.
Kane and Daniel Bryan are out next, and the champs get a nice reaction from the fans as Daniel Bryan tries to get them to stop chanting 'yes' with everything he's got.
Bryan and Ziggler look to kick things off for their respective teams. The bell rings and Dolph asks AJ to hop up on the apron, giving her a kiss. Bryan scores a kick to the side of Ziggler's head and pins him for two. Ziggler scoots to the outside, and Bryan flies through the ropes with a suicide dive to take him out. He brings Dolph back into the ring and kicks away at him repeatedly. Dolph ducks a kick to the head and tags out to Langston. Big E heads into the ring and Bryan tags Kane.
Kane tries for a cross body and Langston catches him! E drops Kane with a couple of backbreakers across the knee before hitting him with a running shoulderblock in the corner. E runs into a big boot from Kane. Kane wraps his hand around E's throat, but he fights it off. Langston hits a huge running splash on Kane, knocking him to the mat. Ziggler tags in and takes Kane out with a beautiful dropkick, pinning the monster for two.
Langston tags back in and wails away on Kane, but gets sloppy and puts his head down, allowing Kane to drive it down into the mat. Ziggler tags in and knocks Bryan from the mat before eating a clothesline from Kane. Ziggler tries for a splash in the corner, but misses, then walks into a sidewalk slam for two. Kane heads to the top rope, but misses a flying clothesline. Ziggler hits a sloppy rocker dropper, but Bryan breaks up a pinfall, getting a kick to the face for his troubles. Ziggler heads to the top, but leaps off into a big right hand from Kane. Kane goes for the pin, but Big E breaks it up with a splash. Langston shoulders Kane, but he's tossed to the outside by Kane. Bryan hits a running knee from the apron to take out E, and back in the ring Ziggler hits the Zig Zag for a super close two count.
AJ slides the briefcase to Ziggler and distracts the referee. Ziggler misses a briefcase shot, and Kane hits a big boot, then a chokeslam before knocking Big E from the apron. Bryan heads to the top and hits a flying head butt, pinning Ziggler for the three count.
Winner and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No
Following the match Bryan joins in with the fans in a 'yes' chant before he and his partner head to the back.
Richard Reacts Quick tag match but it was evident Daniel Bryan is more than over. The crowd was miserable in the cold having to sit through Mark Henry vs. Ryback but they bounced back for Team Heel No. While many of us want Daniel in a more serious gimmick, this tag team is over. I didn't see enough from Big E Langston to have an opinion one way or the other. The work of Daniel, Kane and Dolph Ziggler was rock solid but the match was rushed and under 10 minutes.
- Fandango vs. Chris Jericho
A bunch of dancers are out to go through a little routine before peeling off and revealing Fandango and whatever his valet's name is (I really can't remember at all). The do a little bit of dancing themselves before finally heading down to the ring.
Chris Jericho is out next, and he gets a nice pop out of the fans in the stadium as he makes his way to the ring in his light-up jacket.
The bell rings and Fandango dances around a little bit more, drawing boos from the crowd. He turns around and Jericho takes him to the mat with a series of punches. Jericho hits a couple of chops and Fandango bails to the outside. Jericho gives chase and back in the ring, Jericho takes Fandango down again and rains down with right hands. Jericho catches Fandango in the corner and kicks away at him. Jericho hits a suplex, tossing Fandango into the top rope.
Jericho hits the codebreaker and Fandango rolls out to the floor. Fandango gets to his feet just in time to eat a baseball slide from Jericho. Jericho heads to the top and gets some major air for a body press to the floor, wiping out the new guy. Jericho slams Fandango's head into the apron and chops him again before sending things back into the ring. Jericho smacks Fandango around before hitting him with a big boot and sending him to the outside again. Jericho goes for a springboard dropkick, but Fandango blocks it with a kick of his own that wipes out Jericho.
Fandango goes for a pin, getting two before aggressively pounding on, then stomping away at Jericho. ƒandango clamps on a rear chin lock, but Jericho is able to fight his way up to his feet pretty quickly. Jericho hits a running forearm, then a couple of shoulderblocks. Fandango tosses Jericho out to the apron, but Jericho heads to the top for a flying double axe handle smash. Jericho misses a bull dog, but recovers with a Thesz press. Jericho hits a chop and an enzugiri, but it's not enough for a three count. Fandango backdrops Jericho to the apron, and Jericho heads to the top again for a flying cross body for a two count.
Fandango sends Jericho shoulder first into the ring post before pulling him out and driving him face first into the mat. Fandango heads to the top rope and leaps off with a flying leg drop. Fandango pins Jericho but Jericho kicks out at two.
Jericho rolls Fandango up for two. Jericho avoids a dropkick and tries to counter into the Walls of Jericho, but it's fought off and Fandango lands a clothesline to drop Jericho to the mat. Fandango heads to the top again, but Jericho hits the ropes and causes the dancer to fall to the mat. Jericho places him on the top turnbuckle again, and follows up after him. Jericho tries for a superplex, but Fandango fights it off, sending Jericho to the mat.
Fandango stands on the top and goes for the leg drop, but Jericho moves out of the way. Fandango tries for the lionsault, but misses. Jericho tries for the walls, but Fandango turns it around into a roll up for a three count.
Richard Reacts: Do you buy Fandango? That's the ultimate question that has to be answered because I agree with this outcome and like the way the finish was done. Jericho "tweaking his knee" on the Lion Sault was awkward but done by design. Fandango can work and Jericho is on top of his game. This was a good match and it did exactly what it was supposed to do.
We get a recap of the Miz winning the Intercontinental Championship on the Mania Pre-show earlier.
This leads into another video package for Rock/Cena with this one focusing on the Rock, and his return to WWE, and road to re-claiming the WWE Championship.
The lights are down low in the arena as various WrestleMania highlights are played on the big screen. Music plays in the background and this kicks off the Diddy music montage, which is my cue to take a bathroom break.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
- Alberto Del Rio (c) w/Ricardo Rodriguez vs. Jack Swagger w/Zeb Colter
We get a video package highlighting Jack Swagger and Zeb Coalter's opinions intercut with footage of this feud over the past few weeks. We also get footage of Del Rio doing everything he can to prove himself as an American, talking about the Statue of Liberty and the words inscribed at the base of the monument.
Pre-match promo and the entrances:
Back in the stadium, Zeb Coalter and Jack Swagger are already in the ring. Zeb has a mic and he says over the last week he walked the filthy streets of New York and he's wondering when they took over. He says now it's not worth the beads they paid for it. It's full of criminals and illegals who speak Spanish, and Italian, and Greek, and Chinese. And They speak something called Yiddish, as they plot God knows what against us. He says the fans can boo him all they want, but they agree with him. They're either too afraid to say something, or too gutless to do anything about it. Tonight though, Swagger will reclaim this country when he walks out the World Heavyweight Champion. Swagger says We the People before Del Rio's music hits and Ricardo Rodriguez makes his way out on crutches.
Richard Reacts: Please allow me to say that Zeb Colter is money on the mic. I'm 100% opposed to his storyline political views but he's as good as gets in terms of a mouthpiece.
Ricardo gives Del Rio a fantastic introduction, and the Champion makes his way out in a white robe to very little reaction from the crowd. Del Rio gets some pyro, which gets a little bit of a pop out of the fans, but they don't seem to be too excited about this one.
After formal ring introductions from Lilian Garcia we're ready to begin.
The bell rings and Swagger hits Del Rio with a running knee before backing him into the corner. Del Rio fights out and hits Swagger with a running kick to the stomach. Swagger heads to the outside and Del Rio follows with a flying kick through the ropes. Del Rio brings things back into the ring and heads to the middle rope, but he's distracted by Zeb and pulled down by Swagger. Swagger tosses Del Rio shoulder first into the ring post before pulling him out and burying his knee in Del Rio's midsection repeatedly.
Swagger takes Del Rio to the mat with a big right hand for two. Del Rio fights back up and locks in a crucifix pin for a two count of his own. Swagger stops Del Rio cold and gloats before running into the corner for a big Swagger bomb on Del Rio for two. Swagger rolls to the outside and grabs Del Rio's legs wrapping them around the ring post. Del Rio yanks them back and sends Swagger crashing into the post. Del Rio kicks Swagger away. Swagger heads back into the ring and sends Del Rio into the corner, burying his shoulder in Del Rio's midsection. Swagger backs up and runs into a big boot from Del Rio. Del Rio hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker before kicking Zeb's hand. Del Rio hits a superkick to Swagger on his knees for another near fall.
Del Rio tries for the arm breaker, but Swagger reverses, slamming Del Rio to the mat for a two count. Swagger takes Del Rio out with a chop block to the knee before clamping on the ankle lock. Del Rio fights it off, but misses an enzugiri. Swagger tries for the Swagger bomb again, but Del Rio sweeps his legs out and traps him in the corner, hitting a series of forearms to the back and bringing him out with a backstabber for two. Swagger gets to his feet and tries for a suplex, but Del Rio counters with a German suplex of his own.
Del Rio tries for the armbreaker again, but Swagger counters out and hits the gut-wrench powerbomb for another two count. Swagger clamps on the Patriot lock again and Del Rio teases tapping. Del Rio almost makes the ropes but Swagger pulls him to the center of the ring. After a bit of squirming, Del Rio counters into the cross arm breaker. Del Rio falls back and locks it in fully, but Swagger counters back into the Patriot lock. Del Rio makes it to the ropes to force a break.
Swagger puts on the lock again while Del Rio is still in the ropes to do more damage. Del Rio gets to his feet and kicks Swagger in the back of the head and both men are down. Del Rio hits the enzugiri in the corner and pins Swagger but Zeb gets Swagger's foot on the ropes. Ricardo heads over to Zeb and Coalter kicks his crutch away. Alberto leaves the ring to defend Ricardo and he's attacked from behind by Swagger. Swagger throws Del Rio into the barricade hard.
Swagger brings things back into the ring and walks right into the cross arm breaker. Swagger taps, and this one is over.
Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio
Swagger makes his way to the back dejectedly while Zeb looks on angrily and points at Del Rio and Ricardo. Del Rio holds his belt high and celebrates with Ricardo.
Richard Reacts: This one was hurt by very weak crowd reactions. No one seemed to care and while it got better for the finish, they were mundane. Zeb Colter got some heat on Jack Swagger when he placed his foot on the bottom rope, breaking Del Rio's cover. Nothing was wrong with the work but a title match has to have more reactions than that.
- The Undertaker vs. CM Punk w/Paul Heyman
We get footage of what has easily been the most polarizing buildup of almost any WrestleMania match ever. With highlights of Taker's streak thrown in for good measure, we also get a lot of highlights of Punk disrespecting the memory of Paul Bearer, and playing mind games with Taker like no one else has ever been able to.
Living Color is introduced to play Punk down to the ring. They do a hell of a job, and in my opinion they may be the best special musical guest in Mania history.
Paul Heyman holds the urn high over his head while Punk gets ready for the match. Punk drops to his knees with Heyman behind him. The gong tolls and Punk looks pumped up as the lights go out in New Jersey.
The Undertaker slowly makes his way to the ring through what looks to be a sea of shadows all reaching up to grab him. It's a pretty neat effect. Taker makes his way down to the ring, and as in the past couple of years, Punk doesn't look scared, as much as he looks ready for a challenge that's been laid down 20 times, but still has yet to be won.
Taker brings up the house lights, and a ton of fireworks shoot off out of the stadium rim in an impressive display.
Punk and Heyman toss around the urn for a bit before Punk heads into the ring. The bell rings and Punk dodges a couple of shots from Taker. Punk tells him to bring it on, ducking a right and slapping the Dead man. Taker chases Punk in and out of the ring and gets caught with a series of forearms from Punk. Taker catches Punk around the throat, but Punk ducks a right and slaps him again. Punk hits the ropes and runs right into a big boot. Taker throws Punk to the floor and heads out after him. Taker blasts Punk with a right hand, then another. Taker whips Punk into the timekeeper's area.
Taker goes to bring things back into the ring, then slams him into the Spanish announcer's table instead. Taker dismantles the table, then lifts Punk up and slams him back first into the ring post. Taker brings Punk back into the ring, but pulls the top half of him out onto the apron and hits him with another big right. Taker walks up the stairs and hits the apron leg drop, coming down across Punk's throat.
Taker heads back into the ring and hits Punk with a big right hand before scaring away the referee with a stare down. Taker grabs Punk by the arm and kicks at him before heading into the corner. Taker walks up to the top, but Punk pulls him down to the mat. Punk pops up to his feet and kicks away at Taker, stomping on him in the corner. Punk pulls Taker to his feet and kicks at the big man's knees before grabbing his arm and heading up to the top. Punk walks the ropes and comes down with old school to the Undertaker. Punk lays Taker out with a Russian leg sweep for a two count.
Punk traps Taker in a submission hold, but Taker quickly fights to his feet and takes Punk into the corner for a series of strikes. Punk whips Taker across the ring, but misses a running kick and crashes knee first against the top turnbuckle. Taker rolls to the apron, and he's kicked to the floor by Punk. Punk heads to the top rope and dives out with a body press to wipe out the dead man.
Punk rolls Taker back into the ring and hits a big neckbreaker for two. Punk traps Taker's arm and hits a couple of big shoulderblocks. Taker responds with a right hand, then another, and a third. Taker misses a fourth punch and Punk counters with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Heyman has been shouting encouragement through the whole match. Punk clamps on a rear chin lock, and Taker struggles to get up to his feet. Taker stands up and knees Punk in the gut before hitting a snap suplex to take Punk over.
Punk avoids a charging Taker in the corner and tries for old school again. Punk starts the rope-walk, but Taker crotches him on the top rope and kicks him to the outside. Heyman gets up to the apron and Taker grabs him around the throat. This allows for the distraction for Punk to hit the springboard flying clothesline for another two count. Punk hits the high running knee in the corner and follows it with a clothesline. Punk goes to the top and points to the sky, coming down with a giant elbow drop. Punk goes for the pin but still only comes away with two.
Punk stands up and calls for the G2S. Punk shoulders Taker, but Taker fights out and grabs Punk around the throat, hitting a big chokeslam. Taker pins Punk and gets two, not looking happy about it. Punk and Taker fight up to their feet with Taker getting the advantage. Taker sends Punk into the corner and wails on him before sending him across the ring and hitting a running clothesline. Taker hits snake-eyes on Punk, but Punk responds quickly with a kick to the jaw.
Punk clotheslines Taker over the top to the outside, and Punk looks to the announcer's table. Taker stands and catches Punk with a right, then a head butt. Taker gets Punk in powerbomb position and tries for a last ride, but Punk fights out and lands on hits feet, hitting a kick to the side of Taker's head. Taker ends up laid out on the announcer's table and Punk looks to the top rope. He heads back into the ring and climbs to the top turnbuckle. Punk points to the sky and leaps off the top with a giant elbow drop but the table doesn't break.
Punk gets back into the ring fairly quickly, but Taker is slower. He falls to the floor, but makes it back into the ring at 9. Punk can't believe it, grabbing his head. Punk is grabbing at his shin which crashed into the announcer's table on the elbow drop. Punk crawls right into Hell's gate, getting trapped by Taker. Punk counters into a roll up and Taker has to break the hold. Punk locks in the anaconda vice.
Taker sits up with the hold locked on and stands straight up. Punk looks shocked as Taker grabs him around the throat. Punk avoids a chokeslam and hits the G2S but Taker responds immediately with a tombstone piledriver. Taker goes for the pin but Punk kicks out at two!
Taker crawls toward Punk and the two men fight up to their knees, trading right hands, head butts and chops. Taker gets the upper hand, but Punk kicks him in the chest. Taker grabs Punk around the throat and Punk knocks the ref down. Heyman distracts Taker and Punk catches him with a kick to the gut. Punk hits the running knee in the corner, but Taker counters into the last ride. Heyman hands Punk the urn and Punk brings it crashing down on Taker's head. Punk pins Taker in the classic pose, sticking his tongue out, but Taker kicks out at two.
Punk stands tall and brings his thumb across his throat. Punk shoulders Taker but Taker fights out of it. Taker tries for the tombstone but Punk counters out. Punk tries for the G2S again but Taker counters into the tombstone, bringing Punk down once more for the three count.
Winner: The Undertaker
Following the match Taker bails from the ring and immediately grabs the urn from the ring steps. Taker heads back into the ring and stares out at the fans. He looks to be a bit choked up as he gets to one knee and salutes the urn while pyro goes off in the background. The Undertaker is an astonishing 21-0 at WrestleMania, something that will likely never be duplicated.
On his way to the back, Taker stops to look back at the fans before raising his arm in victory and walking slowly away.
Richard Reacts: CM Punk downplayed this match every time he was asked about it but they just put on a classic. Wonderful story told early on with Punk mocking Undertaker with old school after an arm drag takedown from Undertaker trying to perform the move himself. Undertaker looked good and better than he did in Texas when he returned at a live event.
Punk took it to another level with his Randy Savage elbow off the top rope onto Undertaker on the announce table. We saw all the classic Undertaker moves, including snake eyes and Hell's Gate. There was a great sequence where Punk hit GTS but it didn't phase Undertaker and he hit the Tombstone. Punk kicked out, shocking the crowd.
The false finishes were brilliant, including Punk covering Undertaker in "Undertaker-style" but the immortal one kicked out. Punk mocked Undertaker one more time with the "throat slash" but Undertaker ended up hitting the tombstone and preserving the streak. This is pretty much impossible to top and one I could definitely watch again. The best match by far and yet another bout Undertaker can add to his hat as a five star match.
We get another video package about John Cena, and how he's focused heading into tonight.
From one video package into another as we see the events over the past few months since Summerslam, including Lesnar retiring and then later attacking Vince McMahon, that have led up to this match.
No Holds Barred Match
If Triple H loses, his career is over.
- Triple H w/Shawn Michaels vs. Brock Lesnar w/Paul Heyman
Shawn Michaels' music hits, and HBK makes his way down the ring, dressed for the occasion in jeans, a black tank top, and a camouflage baseball cap.
Brock Lesnar is the next man to make his way into the stadium, and of course he's got Heyman by his side. Lesnar gets a pretty nice pop out of the crowd in his return to WrestleMania for the first time since WrestleMania XX.
Triple H is out to the ring next, and the heir apparent to the WWE makes his way out through a goofy metal skeleton structure. Hunter has some sort of powder caked all around his midsection, not exactly sure what that is, but it seems like he's able to rub most of it off before getting up to the apron.
The bell rings and Hunter catches Lesnar with a series of right hands right off the bat. Lesnar responds with a series of knees before falling to the outside in pursuit of Hunter. Hunter whips Lesnar into the barricade hard before ramming his head into the ring apron. He takes Lesnar over to the announcer's table and slams him head first into the table. Lesnar is able to fight back, backing Hunter into the ring apron before sending him over the barricade into the crowd. Lesnar grabs a chair and heads out after Hunter, but ends up clotheslined back into the ringside area.
Lesnar recovers quickly and avoids a chair shot, catching Hunter and sending him back into the ring. Lesnar heads into the ring and grabs the chair, but turns right around into a high knee from Hunter. Heyman grabs the chair and pulls it out of the ring. Hunter tosses Brock to the outside and kicks him in the stomach before slamming him head first into the ring steps. Lesnar tries to whip Lesnar, but Lesnar counters with a belly to belly suplex on the stadium floor.
Lesnar picks Hunter up and slams him down face first on the announcer's table before suplexing him through the Spanish announcer's table. Lesnar picks Hunter up and buries his knee in Hunter's midsection before hitting another belly to belly suplex into the wreckage of the Spanish announcer's table. Lesnar grins wickedly before screaming out. Lesnar drags Hunter away before staring down Shawn Michaels and sending him scurrying. Lesnar brings things back into the ring where he stands over Hunter and waits for him to stand. Hunter stands in the corner and Lesnar stomps away on him repeatedly.
Hunter is able to drive Lesnar's face down into his knee, but Lesnar recovers quickly and takes Hunter down to the mat for a two count. Lesnar attacks Hunter in the corner, but Hunter tries to fight back. It doesn't last long as Lesnar sends Hunter across the ring. Lesnar runs into a big boot but comes right back with another belly to belly suplex for another two count. Lesnar waits for Hunter to stand and hits him with a big German suplex. Lesnar goes for another pin and gets two.
Lesnar tosses Hunter with another suplex for another two count. Hunter tries to kick away at Lesnar, scoring with a couple of boots and a couple of rights, but Lesnar tosses him into the corner with such force that he flies over the top and to the outside. Lesnar heads out to the floor and backs Michaels off again. He turns around and walks into a clothesline from Hunter. Hunter picks up Lesnar and hits him with a right before clotheslining him into the timekeeper's area.
Hunter slams Lesnar head first into the announcer's table before blasting him with a chair shot to the back. Back in the ring and Lesnar avoids a shot only to take Hunter down with a bridging German suplex for a two count. HBK leaps up to the apron but Brock knocks him down to the floor immediately. Lesnar turns around into a big spinebuster from Hunter. Hunter tries for the pedigree, but Lesnar turns it around almost hitting the F5. HBK is in the ring and tries for sweet chin music but Lesnar catches him and hits the F5. Hunter hits the pedigree on Lesnar, but he only gets a two count.
Hunter heads to the outside and under the ring to grab the sledge hammer. Hunter heads back into the ring and tries for a hammer shot, but Lesnar catches him and hits the F5, but Hunter kicks out of a pin attempt. Hunter rolls out to the floot. Lesnar follows him and grabs a chair, blasting him with a shot to the back. Lesnar screams that he'll play with chairs too. He picks Hunter up and whips him into the ring steps chest first.
Lesnar tosses the steps aside and dismantles them, picking up the top half and using them as a battering ram against Hunter's head. Lesnar holds the steps high and tosses them into the ring over the top rope. Lesnar sets the ring steps up before heading back out to the floor. Lesnar brings Hunter back into the ring and climbs in after him, picking the stairs up again. Lesnar uses them to ram into Hunter's shoulder, pinning him for another two count.
Lesnar tells Hunter it's over now, and Hunter slaps Lesnar across the face. Hunter hits Lesnar with a couple of rights and tries for the pedigree, but Lesnar counters into the kimura. Hunter grabs the ropes, but there's no breaks in this match. Hunter backs Lesnar into the corner, but Lesnar won't break. Hunter backs Lesnar into the corner and breaks the hold, but it's back on immediately. Lesnar hits a couple of knees to the gut before sitting on the top turnbuckle and locking in the kimura again. Hunter lifts up Lesnar out of the corner and slams him down to the mat, forcing him to break the hold.
Lesnar charges Hunter in the corner, but misses and crashes shoulder first into the ring post. Hunter kicks Lesnar in the crotch, then drags him by the arm and wraps it around the ring post. Hunter grabs a chair and brings it over, wrapping Lesnar's arm around the post and hitting it with the chair. Hunter heads into the ring and brings the chair down on Lesnar's arm on top of the ring steps. Hunter locks in a kimura of his own, taking Brock down to the mat. Lesnar teases tapping out, then screams at Heyman to help. Heyman grabs a chair, but he's stopped with sweet chin music from Michaels. Hunter keeps the hold on and Lesnar still won't quit. Lesnar stands with Triple H still holding on. Lesnar walks over to the stairs and falls down with Hunter on top of the stairs.
Hunter clamps the hold back on and Lesnar slams him down on the steps once more. Hunter puts Brock in the hold a third time and Brock continues to think about tapping. He stands up and drives Hunter down into the ring steps, but Hunter DDT's him on the steps in the process. Hunter reaches over to grab his sledge hammer. He stands up and charges, hitting Lesnar in the head. Hunter tosses the hammer aside and poses for the crowd. Hunter picks Lesnar up and hits a pedigree on the ring steps. Hunter covers Lesnar and gets the three count.
Winner: Triple H
After the match Hunter and Michaels embrace as they celebrate the fact that the career of Triple H will continue. Hunter stands tall over Lesnar and gives the fans a crotch chop for old time's sake.
Richard Reacts: This was a physical "fight-style" match that was hurt by the crowd. I don't know what it is but this crowd is not coming across well on pay-per-view. They were hot for Punk-Taker but this match you could often hear a single fan talking to Brock Lesnar at ringside (e.g. I heard one fan tell Lesnar, "I hate you Brock" or another yell "end his career Brock"). This just shouldn't be at an event where there are over 80,000 attendees. The work was fine and basically what we've seen from Brock since coming back. Very physical, almost to the level of being reckless. It's entertaining to watch for the shear spectacle of it but it's nothing like a Brock Lesnar vs. Kurt Angle wrestling match. My favorite tough bump was Brock suplexing Hunter through the Spanish announce table. As for the outcome, it's exactly what we thought. Hunter avenging his loss from SummerSlam and I don't think anyone thought his in-ring career was in jeopardy of ending. Both are going to be sore tomorrow.
We get a video package of some of the highlights of the Hall of Fame induction ceremony from last night, with some pretty neat moments.
The WWE Hall of Fame class of 2013 are introduced, and everyone gets a warm reception from the fans in attendance. Well everyone except for Donald Trump who gets resounding boos.
Justin Roberts has the stated attendance at 80,676, saying that this sets a record at MetLife Stadium. This leads to a barrage of fireworks going off all around.
WWE Championship Match
- The Rock (c) vs. John Cena
John Cena's music hits, and Cena is getting a TON of heat from this crowd who is booing him not only out of the building, but maybe out of the entire state.
The Rock is out next, and the WWE Champion gets a huge pop from the crowd. If there was a roof on this stadium, it would have been blown off.
After formal ring introductions for both men from Justin Roberts, we're ready to begin the main event of the evening.
The bell rings and Cena and Rock circle each other for a bit before Cena tries to work over Rock's arm. Cena puts on a headlock, then hits a shoulder tackle to knock Rock to the mat. We get a lock up and Rock clamps on a headlock. Cena fights out and Rock hits a shoulder tackle of his own. Another headlock from Rock and he grinds Cena down to one knee. Cena fights out of the hold and tries for a hip toss, but eats a hip toss from Rock instead. Cena rolls to the outside for a breather.
Cena heads back into the ring and after a bit of posturing and trash talk from Rock, Cena catches Rock with a right hand, then a series of punches in the corner. Cena sends Rock into the opposite corner hard, then waits for him to stand before hitting him with a couple of big rights. Cena sends Rock across the ring, then eats a big clothesline. Rock hits Cena with a couple of rights, then kicks away at him before sending him across the ring, crashing into the turnbuckles. Rock kicks Cena in the chest and sends him flying. Rock heads to the outside and hits Cena with a forearm smash to the chest.
Back in the ring, Cena hits a big clothesline for two before trapping Rock in a rear chin lock. Rock fights up to his feet, but Cena puts him back down to the mat with more leverage on the hold. Rock stands up to his feet and he powers out of the hold, but Cena hits him with a knee to the gut and a belly to belly suplex that's good for a two count. Cena goes back to the well with another rear chin lock. Rock fights back up to his feet and hits Cena with a couple of big right hands, then locks in a sleeper hold out of nowhere.
Rock brings Cena down to a seated position, but Cena fights up pretty quickly, breaking the hold with a big belly to back suplex. Cena gets another near fall off the suplex before standing up and stomping away at Rock. Cena kicks Rock square in the back before continuing to stomp at the champ. Cena misses an elbow drop and Rock responds with a Samoan drop.
Rock and Cena both get to their feet, trading right hands. Cena gets the upper hand with a suplex for another two count. Rock pulls himself up in the corner and hits Cena with a back elbow. Cena hits a shoulder block, but misses a second. Cena tries for the STF and Rock tries for the spinebuster. Cena hits a couple of shoulderblocks and tries for the belly to back suplex, but Rock avoids it and locks in his sloppy sharpshooter. Cena fights out of it and hits the belly to back suplex. Cena gets a ton of heat from the crowd, but smiles anyway as he calls for the five knuckle shuffle. Cena misses the fist drop and Rock hits a quick DDT.
Rock tries for the Rock bottom, but Cena turns it around into a crossface. Rock rolls Cena over into a pin for two to break the hold. Cena picks up Rock by the legs and slingshots him into the corner before hitting another belly to back suplex. Cena goes for another five knuckle shuffle and he hits it this time. Cena waits for the Rock to stand and he shoulders Rocky. Rock fights out and plants Cena with a spinebuster. Rock teases the People's elbow, but Cena counters it into the STF.
Rock powers out of the STF, breaking Cena's grip and pulling his hands apart. Rock hits Cena with the Rock bottom, but Cena kicks out of a pin attempt. Cena pops up and shoulders Rock for the AA, but Rock kicks out of a Cena pin attempt. Cena heads out to the apron and up to the top rope. He leaps off the top, but Rock moves and Cena crashes to the mat on his knees. Rock hits a spinebuster and is able to follow it up with the People's elbow, but Cena kicks out at two and rolls out to the floor.
Rock follows Cena to the outside, standing over top of him and bringing him back into the ring. He follows Cena and peppers him with a big right hand. Cena fights back with rights of his own. Rock goes for a cross body, but Cena catches him and shoulders the champ. Rock drops to the mat and hits Cena with another Rock bottom, but he still can't keep Cena down for three. Rock gets to his feet and looks out to the fans. He stands over Cena and looks down, kicking his arm. Rock goes for the five knuckle shuffle, but Cena pops up and hits the AA, going for the pin and getting two.
Both men are slow to get back to their feet after all the bombs they've dropped on each other. Cena makes it up first, standing up and hitting Rock with rights and lefts. Rock rights back with strikes of his own. Cena almost goes down, but he's able to roll up Rock for two. Rock tries for another Rock bottom, but Cena turns it around and hits a Rock bottom of his own for two. Cena calls for the five knuckle shuffle, but stops midway through and starts grinning. Cena kicks Rock's arm and tosses one of his arm bands out to the crowd. Cena hits the ropes, but Rock pops up. Cena shoulders Rock, but Rock makes it down to the mat and hits another Rock bottom. Rock goes for the pin, but Cena kicks out at two.
Cena and Rock both stand and Cena tries for the AA. Rock counters and tries for the Rock bottom, but Cena counters. Cena tries for the AA, but Rock grabs the ropes. Rock tries for the Rock bottom, and Cena tries for the AA once more, but this time Rock counters into a DDT. He stands tall and waits for Cena to get to his feet. Cena struggles, but eventually makes it. Rock tries for another Rock bottom, but Cena counters it into the AA, and finally comes away with the three count.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: John Cena
Cena sits in the middle of the ring and looks exhausted before he stands up and smiles. It's worth noting that Cena's getting a decent amount of love from the crowd now that the match is over, and he got a pretty good pop out of the crowd when the ref's hand came down for three.
Cena holds the title in his hands before talking to the Rock. He says something to him, but you can't quite hear it. Rock says something back, then the two shake hands and hug. Cena points to the Rock, showing his opponent respect before heading to the back. Rock's music plays, and the Great One stands in the ring while Cena makes his way to the back with the championship in hand.
Rock stands in the middle of the ring thanking the fans. The fans go as Rock salutes them before heading off to the back. Rock kisses members of his family and family friends in attendance in the front row. The PPV ends with Rock heading up the entrance ramp. He smiles as Cena comes out and salutes him. Cena holds Rock's hand high, and Rock points at Cena. Fireworks go off over the stadium as Cena's music hits again, and he holds his title high while the Rock walks to the back.
Richard Reacts: This match started slow. I mean really slllloooooooow. They started slow last year but given the problems with the crowd not going across well, it took a long time to get into this one. Once they got going the crowd was behind the spots and the match was good. John Cena avenged his loss from last year and walked away WWE Champion. This outcome had to happen unless they planned on turning Cena and we all knew that wasn't going to happen. There were a lot of false finishes, kicking out of one another's finishers. The work was excellent but basic. There weren't any spots that were going to blow you away but there wasn't anything wrong with them either. They had a nice exchange after the match that I took as a "passing of the torch." My fear is such a large portion of the audience has checked out on Cena, how much longer can they keep this up without touching the character? Do you they just ride him until they can't ride him anymore? He needs some character progression if WWE is ever going to try and reconnect him with their older fan base.