The 27th WrestleMania saw The Rock return to WrestleMania after being away from the event for seven years. The Miz defended the WWE Title in the main event against John Cena while Rock served as the special guest host.
I attended this show live in Atlanta with my buddy Dave. It wasn’t a hot period for WWE necessarily, but we were excited that The Rock was back, so that made me want to go. It was my first WrestleMania in person. I wrote my review a few days after I got home following a re-watch of the event.
What I wrote in 2011 after the show was okay, but it wasn’t as good as my current level of writing. I ended up re-doing a lot of this review including full play-by-play reviews of the better matches on the show, so a lot of this was written in 2022 in case that matters to you.
Some notes from before the PPV started.
Before the PPV started, we got a Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus US Title match with other wrestlers surrounding the ring as lumberjacks. It disappointed me to see that as a pre-Mania match because I thought they deserved to be on the main card. They only worked about three minutes until everybody started brawling on the floor. Teddy Long came out to make it a battle royal. That went about 10 minutes with The Great Khali emerging as the winner. The last guy he eliminated was Sheamus. There was nothing special about it, but the crowd was so hot that we liked all of this.
One year later, the World Title match would be Bryan vs. Sheamus.
Following the dark match, it was time for WrestleMania to begin. I didn’t take too many pics because I was sitting in section 222 and I didn’t bring an expensive camera.
WWE WrestleMania XXVII
April 3, 2011
From the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia
Keri Hilson sang “America The Beautiful” to start the show. She did very well. I never know what to write for that. They always do very well except when Mean Gene did it.
I’m not sure if it was here or later, but at one point I literally jumped out of my seat due to one of the fireworks displays. Even when you know they are coming they can still shock you. No video of my near heart attack exists. Sorry.
When the show started we were greeted by The Rock. We loved every second of this. The energy he brought to the building was great and it made for an enjoyable first ten minutes. The part where he told us to say “Dabba” after he said “Yabba” was one of those “am I really doing this?” kind of moments in my life. I can’t believe I chanted “Dabba” with 70,000 people. Scratch that off the bucket list. His claim that this would be the best WrestleMania ever was a blatant lie, but we didn’t care.
Analysis: It was a great Rock promo. We were hot for all of this and it carried over on the PPV broadcast too. The dome was loud.
The entrances took place for the opening match. The English announcers were Josh Mathews with Jerry Lawler on a regular commentary table while Michael Cole was in the “Cole Mine” that had protected glass
Alberto Del Rio made his entrance in a fancy car with Ricardo Rodriguez doing a special introduction for him. Christian was next to support his best friend Edge. That led to Edge’s entrance with the Atlanta crowd giving him a big pop.
Analysis: I remember thinking it was weird to start with this match. Del Rio won the Rumble, he earned the right to “main event WrestleMania” and he ends up working the opener? I realize that there are two or three matches that we should consider the main event, which is fine, but shouldn’t this be later in the card? Anyway, some wrestlers prefer to go on first if they’re not last, so I doubt Edge and Del Rio had a problem being in this spot.
World Title: Edge (w/Christian) vs. Alberto Del Rio (w/Brodus Clay & Ricardo Rodriguez)
They exchanged slaps followed by Edge getting a back body drop. Del Rio was able to kick Edge to keep him down. Del Rio charged, Edge gave him a back body drop over the top to the floor. Edge went for a sliding attack, Del Rio moved and sent Edge into the barricade. Edge had his left arm/elbow taped up to sell previous attacks from Alberto. Back in the ring, Del Rio applied an armbar, Edge broke free and Del Rio choked Edge across the middle rope. Del Rio held onto the left arm while pulling it against the rope. Del Rio with another armbar, then a knee to the face and Del Rio missed a running dropkick leading to Del Rio bumping to the floor. That’s a painful looking bump. Edge did a slingshot dive over the top onto Del Rio on the floor with Edge holding onto the top rope to help him get over top there. Edge went up top, but Del Rio took him down with an armdrag off the top. Edge got back up with a spinning heel kick. When Del Rio, Edge hit him with a boot to the face. Edge with a forearm, a clothesline and a flapjack for two. Del Rio with a double knee attack on the arm followed by Edge countering Del Rio with a sitout neckbreaker. Edge went for a rollup, Del Rio rolled through and went for the Cross Armbreaker on the injured left arm, but Edge rolled to the ropes to break the hold. Edge with a neckbreaker across the top rope. Edge slowly climbed up top, so Del Rio went after him with a jumping kick to the head for two. Edge had his foot on the bottom rope, Ricardo shoved it off and Edge still kicked out. Christian went after Clay on the floor, Del Rio kicked Christian down and Clay hit a fallaway slam on Christian. Edge got a rollup for two. Edge hit an Impaler DDT. Edge got up teasing a Spear, he charged, Del Rio moved and Edge was by the turnbuckle. Clay rammed Edge’s arm into the ring post while Ricardo distracted the referee. Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker submission on the left arm, Edge countered it into a pin attempt of his own, Del Rio got out of it and Edge applied the Edgecution submission move. Christian gave Brodus Clay a Tornado DDT on the floor. Del Rio got out of the submission, Edge got back up and Edge hit a Spear for the pinfall at 11:12.
Winner by: Edge
Analysis: ***1/4 Good match. It did a nice job of opening the show with a result that the fans liked. In some ways it felt like a TV match that didn’t feel like it was a major title match at a WrestleMania. Del Rio worked on the arm a lot, Edge sold it well and Edge was able to overcome it to get the win. Edge worked hard and Del Rio was fine too, but it just never really felt like a major title match.
(It was a week later when we found out that Edge would be forced to retire from wrestling for good. That news really came out of nowhere and shocked everybody. I’m glad I was able to see last televised match…until his shocking 2020 return. Great performer.)
Post match, Edge and Christian destroyed Del Rio’s car. Then they apparently had it shipped to Charlotte for Smackdown. It’s like when Edge kidnapped Paul Bearer and brought him to about five different cities including transporting him to Europe. He’s a caring guy like that. Don’t ask me why Alberto would care about one car when he has a different one in every city. Logic need not apply.
Analysis: It was another way to make the fans happy to see a heel have his car destroyed.
Michael Cole was yelling from the Cole Mine. On the broadcast it’s a typical rant. In the arena there’s no sound, so people just booed. I was glad that we couldn’t hear it.
Cody Rhodes vs. Rey Mysterio
This was the first time I’ve been in a crowd during a Mysterio match when the crowd was pretty quiet. Say what you want about him (and I like Rey), but he always managed to get pops. It didn’t happen here. I guess it’s the right time for Sin Cara after all. I was disappointed that there was no video package here because a lot of fans don’t watch Smackdown. It was a good feud. Nobody in the crowd cared too much, though. At one point Rey took Cody’s mask and put it on, which generated a pop, but nothing huge. Cody ended up taking off Rey’s knee brace, which is what started this whole feud, and nailed him in the head with it to get the win at 12:00.
Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes
Analysis: **1/2 The veteran wrestler put over the younger guy that cheated to win. That’s cool with me. I liked the finish a lot. I just don’t think people knew the story enough to care about it. It was nice to see that Cody got a singles win at WrestleMania because he was a star on the rise.
(I didn’t do a play by play there, but obviously the story was about putting over the younger heel Cody over Rey. It’s fine because Cody was a guy with a lot of potential that needed wins like this.)
It was comedy segment time with Snoop Dogg & Teddy Long auditioning WWE talent to join Snoop on his tour. The Great Khali & Beth sang a song from Grease, which was funny. It was nice to hear Zack Ryder get a big pop. I think he’s somebody that can get over huge if the company believes in him. Piper nailing him with a coconut was cool. Masters did a titty dance while Yoshi Tatsu sang “We Will Rock You.” That reminded me of the Chinese restaurant in “A Christmas Story” singing “Deck the Halls.” It ended with Hornswoggle finally talking for the first time as he cut a rap. This was fun for a few laughs until the Hornswoggle part.
Big Show, Kane, Santino & Kofi Kingston d. The Corre (Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater & Ezekiel Jackson)
They didn’t even get two minutes. The entrances got more time. Why do you put over the veteran babyface team when they’re up against a group that holds the IC title and the tag titles? I don’t understand the logic here. They all hit their finishers and Show knocked out Slater to end it at 1:35.
Winners by pinfall: Big Show, Kane, Santino & Kofi Kingston
Analysis: 1/4* Awful. What was the point? I guess it was done to prove that The Corre was one of the worst stables ever, which they were.
(I guess the point was to get more people on the show. It was such a quick match.)
Backstage, The Rock talked to Divas Champion Eve. She’s such a great champion that she didn’t have the belt with her. At least we know it doesn’t matter. It mattered when Natalya held it. Why did they take it off of her and completely ignore true talents like her as well as Beth Phoenix? Use them! Rock said he’d have a moment with the next person that walked by. I immediately thought it was going to be Mae Young and I was right. Mae said she wanted some strudel. Rock said she wanted Moses’ strudel (old joke). Rock introduced Mae to Eve, who she may know from her childhood friends, Adam and Eve. Old jokes. Mae told Rock she’ll never get old. Mae smacked Rock on the ass. Eve & Mae left as Steve Austin walked into the screen. Huge pop for that. They both agreed to kick some ass. They shook hands.
Analysis: That Rock/Austin spot was a nice moment and an ode to history.
A video package aired showing the history between Randy Orton and CM Punk.
CM Punk made his entrance wearing a New Nexus shirt because he was leading that group at this point. Randy Orton got a big ovation as he made his slow walk down to the ring.
Yes, that’s a TJR sign. I believe a guy named Justin W. held it. He was in the military and is a great guy. There were two signs at this show.
Randy Orton vs. CM Punk
Orton’s right leg was taped up around the knee due to Punk attacking him with a monkey wrench. Orton with a clothesline followed by a clothesline that sent Punk over the top to the floor. They battled on the floor, Punk avoided the steel steps and kicked the steps into Orton’s leg. Back in the ring, Punk went up top and hit a cross body block for two. Punk mocked an Orton pose, so the fans booed him. Orton came back with a modified backbreaker. Punk blocked a kick from Orton leading to Punk driving Orton’s right knee into his shoulder. Punk delivered knee strikes to the right knee of Orton followed by Punk hitting a running knee to the face. Punk with a knee drop on the right leg. Punk trapped Orton’s right leg against the top turnbuckle and then he hit a knee drop off the top. Punk wanted a GTS, Orton slipped out going for an RKO and Punk came back with a jumping kick to the head. Punk went up top, he took too long and Orton managed to trip up Punk on the top rope so Punk was crotched. Orton followed with the superplex that he has done many times in his career and that got a two count. Punk managed to trip up Orton again and rammed his leg into the ring post. Punk applied the Figure Four Leglock around the ring post like Bret Hart used to do. Punk grounded Orton on the mat by applying a leglock to the right knee and that took a few minutes. Orton broke free with headbutts along with punches to the head. Orton with two clotheslines and a powerslam. Orton with a Thesz Press leading to punches followed by the Olympic Slam for two. Punk came back with kicks to the leg, a kick to the chest and a sweep kick. Punk applied the Anaconda Vice on the left arm/head of Orton, but Orton managed to roll over towards the ropes. They battled on the apron with Orton whipping Punk into the turnbuckle leading to Orton hitting the draping DDT off the ropes. Orton took a long time to tease The Punt, but when he charged, he collapsed to the mat due to the injured right knee. Punk smiled at Orton laid on the mat selling the right knee injury. As Punk approached, Orton went for the RKO, but Punk slithered away from it and got to the ropes. Punk wanted Orton to get up, so Punk went up top with a springboard attack and Orton hit the RKO outta nowhere! That was great. Orton pinned Punk for the pinfall win at 14:46.
Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton
Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with the babyface getting the win. I expected this to be a better match. The pace was too slow for my liking. They worked a slow pace, which is Orton’s style, but when the match should have been kicked into a higher gear it never really happened. The finish was well done with Orton hitting the RKO on a leaping Punk.
(Punk working on Orton’s right knee was the main story of the match. The finish was great.)
There was a backstage segment with The Rock, Mean Gene Okerlund and Pee Wee Herman. Pee Wee was a huge John Cena fan, but by the end he was a Rock fan. This didn’t work very well. Pee Wee annoys the hell out of me. Let’s move on.
(Mean Gene rules. Rest in peace.)
They introduced the Hall of Fame class of 2011. The Hall of Fame class in 2011 was Shawn Michaels, The Road Warriors (Hawk, Animal & Paul Ellering), Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Abdullah The Butcher, Sunny, Bob Armstrong and Drew Carey. Everybody got a nice ovation here with HBK getting that huge moment like he deserved.
The announcers for the next match were Jim Ross and Booker T., who joined Josh Mathews.
Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler
This wasn’t much of a match, obviously. Cole’s promo on the way to the ring was good. The crowd hated him so much. They got a lot of time, which meant a lot of stalling from Cole. He hid in the Cole Mine, then Swagger attacked Lawler, Cole came out and was in control. Where the match failed was when Cole was given offense. Not only was it too unrealistic, but his offense was poor too. That’s not a surprise. I should also add that Michael Cole’s attire was not flattering in the least. He went to the University of Syracuse, so that’s why he was wearing orange. Eventually Lawler came back and Swagger threw in the towel, which meant that they wanted to end the match. Austin wasn’t having any of it. Swagger was pissed, so he went in the ring and we all knew what was next: Stunner. Big reaction for that. Lawler hit the fist drop and pulled Cole up at two. Then he put Cole in the ankle lock. Cole tapped right away, but Austin waited a bit before ringing the bell. That was great. We were cracking up. Beer bash time. I read later that Lawler didn’t drink alcohol, so he actually poured the beer out. What a waste. I was crying in section 222! Not really. Booker T. came in, did the Spinarooni, joined in on the beer bash and then Austin hit him with the Stunner too! Booker did a great job selling it too because he spit the beer out of his mouth as he was taking the move. We marked out for that! It ran a little long, I thought. In terms of time given it was the second longest segment of the show. I think the booking of it was off because Cole should never have been on offense, but the Austin stuff definitely helped.
At this point I left to get a drink because I thought it was the end of the segment. The GM reversed the decision, saying Cole won the match due to Austin being a biased ref. Lawler was furious, so he threw Josh Mathews into the ring where Stone Cold gave him a Stunner too. This was done to get Ross & Lawler together at the announce table. That’s fine by me. The official match time was 13:45 although it was longer than that as an entire segment.
Winner by disqualification: Michael Cole
Analysis: -* Awful segment. Sadly, the feud didn’t end here either. They did two more PPVs featuring this Cole & Lawler story. Lame. It was definitely one of the worst WrestleMania matches ever and one of the worst feuds of 2011.
(Brutal match. I did not watch it again. I never want to watch it again. How could they keep the feud going for several more months? It was so bad to watch.)
I need to pass along a live note here. I was sitting in the section above the hard camera in the second level. About five rows above me was the third level, which is the private box level. It was filled with WWE talent. Legends like Dibiase, Funk, Steamboat and other current wrestlers were sitting up there the whole night. People in our section were turning around to snap photos of them. Most of them didn’t even acknowledge us. By the time Triple H & Undertaker started we saw guys like Orton & Punk up there. I guess it’s a better view than looking at a backstage monitor. I found out later, on WWE.com, that Shawn Michaels was up there too. A lot of people expected him to run out at some point. That didn’t happen obviously.
Triple H got an elaborate entrance wearing some armor when he first appeared on the stage and then he was in regular wrestling gear as he walked down to the ring. The Undertaker had the song “Ain’t No Grave” song by Johnny Cash for his entrance. The Undertaker made his usual slow walking, spectacular entrance that took nearly five minutes for him to get down to the ring. On the WWE Network version of his match, it’s the regular Undertaker song because they don’t want to pay royalties for the Johnny Cash song. That’s what usually happens.
No Holds Barred Match: The Undertaker vs. Triple H
It’s a No Holds Barred Match meaning anything goes in the match and you had to win in the ring. Triple H was 41 years old at the time of this match while Undertaker was 46 years old.
Hunter was aggressive with a barrage of punches, so then Taker just shoved him over the top to the floor. While they were on the floor, Taker whipped Hunter into the steel steps. Taker cleared off the Spanish announce table. Hunter got back up and tackled Taker through the “Cole Mine” glass setup that was ringside. Taker sat up while Hunter told him to bring it. Back in the ring, Taker hit a jumping clothesline. When Taker tried the rope walking move, Hunter countered it with an armdrag across the ring followed by a clothesline that sent Taker over the top to the floor. Hunter with a hard whip into the barricade at ringside. Hunter cleared off the English announce table where Ross and Lawler were. Hunter tried for a Pedigree on the commentary table, but Taker countered with a back body drop where Hunter hit the floor hard. Hunter was favoring his left arm/wrist that landed first on the mat outside the ring. When the guys were out of the ring, the referee stayed in the ring because obviously there was no countout in a match like this. Hunter slowly got back up, Taker ran the ropes and Taker jumped over the top onto Hunter on the floor. It was an impressive leap by the 46 years old Undertaker. It was mostly Taker’s hands hitting him followed by his body crashing to the floor after that. Taker teased a Tombstone on the steel steps, Hunter got out of that and Taker did a headbutt. Taker charged at Hunter, who was on the steps and Hunter gave Taker a spinebuster through the Spanish announce table. Good spot! They timed it well and it looked impressive.
Hunter sent Taker back into the ring, Hunter followed and Taker was ready for him with a Chokeslam for a two count. Taker teased a Last Ride, but Hunter drove him back first into the turnbuckle. Hunter worked over Taker with some punches against the turnbuckle, which led to the obvious spot of Taker going for the Last Ride and Hunter slipped out of it. They each went for moves, Taker got a hold of Hunter and sent him headfirst into the turnbuckle, but Hunter bounced back with a spinebuster for two. Hunter grabbed a steel chair from ringside, he went into the ring and Taker booted him in the face. Taker grabbed the chair leading to a stiff chair shot to the back. Some people do soft chair shots, but Taker was not soft with that one. Hunter came back with a kick to the gut and a Pedigree for two as Taker got the shoulder up. Hunter lifted up Taker to the top turnbuckle, Undertaker slipped out and hit a Last Ride Powerbomb for a two count. Taker was frustrated. That’s a spot Taker did many times in his career, usually after his opponent did the corner punches. Taker picked up Hunter and delivered a Tombstone piledriver with the arms folded across for one…two…no! Hunter kicked out. Taker was so frustrated that he fell back onto his back with hands on his head wondering what he has to do to win. Taker went for another Tombstone, Hunter slipped out and hit a DDT on the chair in the ring. They laid down in the ring to sell the physicality of the match. Both men slowly got back up to their feet using the ropes, Hunter got a hold of Taker and hit a Pedigree for one…two…and no! What a nearfall. JR: “So close!” It sure was. That was the second Pedigree of the match. Hunter got back up first, he hit a third Pedigree for one…two…and no again! Taker got his right shoulder up before the three count. JR: “I cannot believe what I have seen and perhaps The Game is feeling the same way.” Hunter got back up with the steel chair that he used to hit Taker in the back two times. Hunter: “Stay down!” Hunter delivered six more chair shots to Taker’s back. Taker pulled himself up using the ropes, he walked towards Hunter and Hunter delivered a chair shot to the head, but Taker clearly got his right hand up to block it, so it was a chair to the hand. Taker tried getting up. Hunter: “Stay down! Just die! Stay down. What’s wrong with you?” Taker grabbed Hunter with his hand around the throat. Taker backed into the ropes looking ready to fight and Hunter did the throat slash hand gesture. Hunter picked up Taker and gave him the Tombstone piledriver perfectly in the ring. Hunter folded the arms across the chest, the tongue out and it got one…two…no! What a pop for that kickout! Huge. Lawler: “He’s not human.” Hunter backed into the ropes with a stunned look on his face. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. They should have chanted it earlier, but it was definitely well deserved. Hunter left the ring leading to Hunter grabbing the sledgehammer from under the ring. Hunter stood over Taker, but then Taker grabbed him by the arm and applied the Hell’s Gate submission on Hunter’s head/arm/left arm. Hunter tried to fight it, he even stood up at one point, but Hell’s Gate was locked in by Taker. Hunter got a hold of the sledgehammer, he tried to use it as a weapon and then he started to pass out in the hold. Hunter tapped on Taker’s arm, so the referee Scott Armstrong called for the bell. It was submission win due to Hunter tapping out. The match time was 29:23. The Undertaker is 19-0 at WrestleMania.
Winner by submission: The Undertaker
Analysis: ****1/2 Amazing match. I loved the finish. Perfect way to end it because if Undertaker beat him with a power move it would have diminished what Hunter did to him physically. Taker had trouble getting back to his feet, so instead, he won with a finishing move on his back. It makes sense. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Triple H and Undertaker. They worked their asses off to put on a great match here. The spots were timed well, they were done in the perfect sequence and the chemistry they had was really good considering they didn’t work a singles match together in a few years. I think Taker/Michaels at WM25 and WM26 are both five-star matches. This was just barely below that. My reasoning is that this was more of a brawl with well placed spots while the other two were more like traditional wrestling matches. I don’t want to nitpick. It’s a personal preference thing. Ultimately, though, we’re talking about three amazing matches. Rank them how you want. You won’t get too much of an argument from me. Taker sold that beating well. A lot of us thought he was legitimately hurt. Did it happen when he crashed headfirst on the floor? We had no idea. How many times have you seen him get taken out by a stretcher before? I guess that’s the WWE way of saying he has a level of vulnerability now. I’m glad Jim Ross was able to call this match too. It was better for having him there. Nobody can touch him in terms of calling the big matches. This was the highlight of WrestleMania 27. No question about that.
There was some pyro that went off along with 19-0 graphics all around the building to remind us that Undertaker was 19-0 at WrestleMania. Even though The Undertaker was the winner of the match, Triple H was up first with Hunter using the ropes to get back to his feet. Taker was getting checked on in the ring by Dr. Sampson and the referee Scott Armstrong. Hunter watched as Taker collapsed getting out of the ring and he was unable to stand on the floor. When Taker tried to get up, he fell onto his back on the floor. Hunter was gone by this point. The announcers went quiet for several minutes to let the pictures tell the story. There was another trainer that showed up along with Mike Rotunda (I.R.S.) and Dean Malenko, who were WWE Producers at the time. They had a cart that they brought down to the ring and then drove it up the ramp to take Taker away. It was not a stretcher because they needed something bigger and faster to go up the ramp.
Analysis: They used the post match scenes to tell the story for their match one year later. Hunter talked about how he was the one that left standing while Taker needed help out of the ring, so that’s what led to the Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania 28. I had forgotten that the announcers went silent during that part. I think if you had the announcers speak and put over how we had never seen Taker taken away like that, it would have helped put the moment over even more. With that said, I understand wanting to let the pictures tell the story.
(Excellent match that worked really well in terms of delivering a big showdown and setting up what would happen the following year.)
They announced WrestleMania 28 would be in Miami on April 1, 2012.
Vickie Guerrero introduced Laycool and her business associate Dolph Ziggler. The faces were up next with Snooki walking out last to the Jersey Shore theme song.
John Morrison, Snooki & Trish Stratus vs. Dolph Ziggler, Michelle McCool & Layla
Snookie slapped Ziggler early in the match. They had some decent spots with McCool and Trish, who was making her WrestleMania return after five years without a lot of attention being given to it. Trish countered a move by sending McCool into the mat. Trish and McCool got into a slugfest on the turnbuckle leading to bumps on the floor. Trish hit a Chick Kick on McCool for two with Ziggler making the save. Morrison knocked Ziggler out of the ring and Morrison hit Ziggler with a Starship Pain on the floor (awesome looking spot). Snooki got the hot tag. Snooki did her cartwheel into the butt splash onto McCool in the corner because I guess she’s got a gymnastics background. Snooki did a cartwheel into a splash on McCool to get the pinfall win at 3:15.
Winners by pinfall: Morrison, Snooki & Stratus
Analysis: * It was rushed. Morrison and Ziggler were treated like afterthoughts even though they had one good spot. I’ll give Snooki credit for trying to learn a few moves to look credible in there. Snooki took no bumps. Morrison, Ziggler and Layla didn’t even get to tag into the match. They didn’t have much time to tell a story for a match like this.
(The news coming out of this was that John Morrison wanted his girlfriend Melina in the match, not Trish. Melina was active on the roster while Trish retired five years earlier but Melina was a heel. Trish was a Tough Enough coach, so that’s why they wanted her on WrestleMania. After the match, Trish went to hug him and he snubbed her. Trish spoke about it in a radio show later in the week saying that she didn’t understand why he felt that way. One year later there was no Melina or Morrison in WWE. She got fired. He let his contract run out. John and Melina would end up breaking with John going on to marry wrestler Taya Valkyrie later in the decade.)
The announced attendance for this event was 71,617 people. There was also a TJR sign shown at that point. I don’t recall who held it but I appreciate it! Thank you!
That video package featuring The Miz’ growth as a TV performer from the Real World to WWE Champion was terrific. When “Miz girl” was shown she got a huge pop too. It’s a shame that the masked Calgary Kid did not make an appearance, though. Then Miz came out through some ballooned letters of the word “Awesome.” I guess they cut back on production costs, huh? Also, why does Alex Riley come out in his wrestling gear if he’s not in the match? And why the briefcase? Those are rhetorical questions.
The Cena entrance wasn’t as good as The Miz’s video. There was a choir on stage. They sang: “Your time is up, my time is now” and we booed them for it. They did a good job. It’s the association with Cena that got booed, though. The Cena entrance featured a poem from rapper DMX from one of his CDs. Cena was cheered by a lot of fans, but some boos as well.
WWE Championship: The Miz (w/Alex Riley) vs. John Cena
They spent a few minutes for a bit of a feeling out process until Miz took control with punches along with a whip into the turnbuckle. Miz hit a corner clothesline. Cena came back with a knee to the ribs followed by a gutwrench suplex for two. Miz hit a uranage slam for a two count. Cena avoided a corner clothesline, Cena went up top and hit a leg drop to the back of the head for two. Cena charged, Miz moved and Cena hit the turnbuckle. Miz with a running kick to Cena’s head followed by another kick to the head for two. Cena ran the ropes, Miz avoided a cross body block and Cena dropkicked Cena off the apron to the floor. That was a weird spot that didn’t look smooth. Miz with a running knee lift for a two count. Cena came back with two shoulder tackles followed by the spinning slam. The fans were finally into it as Cena did the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, Miz slipped out, kick to the gut and a two count. Cena tripped up Miz going for the STF, but Miz countered and hit a backbreaker/neckbreaker combo for two. Riley with a distraction, so Miz took a top turnbuckle pad off. While referee Mike Chioda tried to put it back, Cena got a cradle for two as Chioda recovered to make the two count. The turnbuckle was still exposed while Cena tripped up Miz and locked on the STF submission hold. Miz managed to get his right hand on the bottom rope to break up the submission. Riley on the apron, he got a hold of Cena and sent Cena into the exposed steel (the referee didn’t see it). Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Cena for just a two count.
Miz went for a Skull Crushing Finale again, but Cena got out of it while sending Miz into referee Mike Chioda, who bumped to the mat. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment for not count because the referee was down. Riley went into the ring with the briefcase, he hit Cena in the head with it and Chioda recovered to slow count Miz for one…two…and no because Cena got his shoulder up. Miz got the briefcase, Cena moved and Miz hit Riley with the briefcase. Cena got a hold of Miz and hit the Attitude Adjustment for one…two…and no! Miz kicked out. I thought that was it. Cena charged at Miz on the floor with Cena hitting a clothesline over the barricade. Miz tried to climb over the barricade, Cena ran after him and tacked Miz over the barricade onto the cement floor by the fans. Cena and Miz were countered out by referee Chioda, so it appeared that it was a double countout finish. The fans booed. It was announced as a draw with Miz remaining as the WWE Champion.
Live in the arena we could see a camera guy running up the ramp. We all knew that meant The Rock was coming out. The Rock walked back out there wearing his “I Bring It” shirt. There was a notification from the anonymous Raw General Manager, but Rock told Ross and Lawler not to do anything. Rock said he received an email from the Raw General Manager, then Rock read “I think” and shouted: “It doesn’t matter what you think!” Cheap pop. Rock said that there is no way that WrestleMania is over. The Rock restarted the match saying it was no DQ and no countout. Rock said there’s no way this match will end like that. Rock said that it’s time to give the people what they want. They showed Rock’s girlfriend Lauren (who he married a few years later) at ringside.
After several minutes on the floor, Cena and Miz were back in the ring. Cena lifted Miz for an Attitude Adjustment, but Miz went to the apron. Miz countered by grabbing the rope and going to the apron. The Rock snuck up behind Cena and hit a Rock Bottom on Cena. Rock stood over Cena talking trash. Rock left, Miz crawled over and Miz pinned Cena to win the match at 15:21.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: *1/2 Disappointing match. It felt like more of an angle than a match. It was a boring match for a lot of it until they started building up some nearfalls. The crowd barely reacted to them before The Rock got involved. I wasn’t a fan of the draw finish, but I understand why it was done because they had to have a way for The Rock to come out there. Miz felt like an afterthought instead of a WWE Champion in the main event of WrestleMania. It’s one of the worst WrestleMania main events ever. John Cena was made to look like a sympathetic figure because of the way he lost.
The Miz celebrated with the WWE Title in the ring. The Rock stared at Miz while fans chanted “Rocky” for the People’s Champ. Rock went back in the ring and beat up Miz with some punches. Rock gave Miz a spinebuster and People’s Elbow. That was a good way to end the show on a happier note. The show ended with The Rock celebrating.
Analysis: It was a way to send people home happy. However, it made Cena look like a fool because The Rock screwed him out of the WWE Title and then Cena did absolutely nothing after the match. They should have had a staredown or something here. Instead, they saved it for Raw the next night.
(Everything above about the main event was written in 2022. It’s such a boring match. The Miz has bragged about this win a lot, but the match is awful and one of the worst WrestleMania main events ever.)
A video aired showing WrestleMania 27 highlights.
This event has a runtime of 3:55:07 on WWE Network.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– That Undertaker-Triple H match was by far the highlight of the show. Nothing else came close to that. Being there live made me love it even more and it still holds up well. Heavy on story as well as selling the physicality of a tough match. It’s rare to see The Undertaker carted out of a building like that, so that gave Hunter a lot of credibility. I enjoyed it a lot.
– If we knew Edge was wrestling in his last televised match (for nearly nine years) I think the building would have been a lot louder for his match. Little did we know how much pain he was in during the match. What a great performer.
– The Rock’s attack on Cena made sense considering what they were building to as it relates to WrestleMania 28. I still think it was a poorly constructed match between Cena and Miz. Of course, Cena ended up winning the WWE Title at the next PPV in a match that was even worse than this one. That Cena/Miz feud was pretty bad.
– I remember the Morrison-Stratus story getting a lot of attention after. I don’t think it was that big of a deal, but people like to make a big deal out of small stories sometimes.
– The Cole-Lawler match was one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen in my life. The entire thing took about 30 minutes and felt even longer than that. So bad.
Best Match: Undertaker vs. Triple H – Nothing was really close to it.
Worst Match: Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler – Awful.
Most Memorable Moment: Rock hits Cena with the Rock Bottom – Set the stage for what was to come the next year.
- Triple H – He was phenomenal. He did a great job of being the aggressor in the match, of selling how tough it was to put Undertaker away and telling the story with his face as much as he did with his body.
- Undertaker – I think his injuries slowed him down, but he showed up big again. The last five WrestleManias have all seen Undertaker have matches that were four stars or better. All of them happened while he’s been in his 40s too. He’s an amazing talent.
- Edge – He had his working boots on. It was his last WrestleMania match for nine years and we had no idea at the time.
- The Rock – His energy helped the show. I enjoyed the introductory promo as a great way to get the crowd into the action right away. That staredown with Austin was awesome.
- Randy Orton-CM Punk – They worked hard to have a competitive match in the time given. More time would have been nice.
Show rating (out of 10): 5
It was one of the weaker WrestleManias post-2000 for sure. We had the one match of the year contending match in Undertaker-HHH and then a few matches in the three star range. That means they’re solid although they’re not attention getting either. It was an average WrestleMania. Average isn’t good enough for WrestleMania. We expect greatness.
That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.
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