Wrestlemania 28, the biggest wrestling event of the year is finally over. After watching the PPV twice, here are my thoughts on the matches and the event as a whole. But first, random thoughts on the set and the crowd. (Photo credits go to WWE.com)
The Wrestlemania setup was gorgeous, probably one of the best stadium setups I’ve seen on TV.
Boxing and MMA can learn a thing or two from WWE with their over the top and grandiose screens, lights and pyro.
The crowd of 78,363 fans is a sight to behold. This is what Wrestlemania is all about.
Now, for the Wrestlemania match card:
Sheamus defeats Daniel Bryan to become the new World Heavyweight Champion in 18 seconds
From a casual fan’s perspective (or marks), this might seem enjoyable. Bryan was the cocky heel who gets out of high profile matches by “squeaking” in the victory while Sheamus is the badass who is more than capable of beating the shit out of most of the roster. Sheamus winning the title easily from Bryan was more than justified. However, from a smark’s POV, this has to be one of the craziest booking decisions ever. Having the World Heavyweight Title open the show is already seen as taboo but ending the match in just 18 seconds? Dumb, dumb, dumb. Sheamus and Bryan could have torn the house down with a show stealing performance if they were given the chance, but no, the WWE only cared for the match to break some time record no one cares about. Not a very good start to the show as the crowd was noticeably pissed. Daniel Bryan was very over with the Miami crowd as evidence by the audible Daniel Bryan chants throughout the show.
Kane defeats Randy Orton
The buildup to this match has been pretty mild. WWE didn’t invest too much time and emotion on this match and understandably so, since promoting the 3 top matches (more on that later) were more than burdensome. This was nothing but a throw-away match to give Orton and Kane a Wrestlemania match. (more…)
After Brock defeated Frank Mir at UFC 100, a long title reign for Lesnar was to be expected. Or at least the UFC expects him to be, as a dominant heavyweight champion will prove to be a major attraction especially on PPV. Thus, the UFC wasted no time scheduling Brock’s next title defense. His opponent: Shane Carwin: 265 lbs. with an undefeated MMA record and all wins coming by KO/TKO and ending opponents all at the 1st round. This would be the first time that Brock would meet a knockout artist as Brock’s previous opponents, tough as they are, were not really known for their striking prowess and KO power. This was also billed as the biggest heavyweight title fight of all time, playing to the fact that both fighters weigh at the 265-lb weight limit. However, before the fight even came into fruition, Brock had yet another major road block. He was diagnosed with diverticulitis. This life-threatening illness took months out of his MMA career and would only come back after a year’s absence in the Octagon, facing an equally scary monster in Carwin as well.
It’s over. Brock Lesnar retired from the UFC after his brutal TKO loss in the hands of Alistair Overeem. He amassed a 5-3 MMA record and a UFC Heavyweight Championship to boot.
It’s no secret that I’m a big Brock Lesnar fan. In fact, Brock made me more of an MMA fan today than I was before he entered the octagon. If Tito Ortiz and GSP introduced me to UFC and MMA in general, Brock Lesnar hooked me to it. However, my Lesnar fandom has a much deeper history, going back to his days in the WWE; far from the world of competitive combat sports and legitimate sanctioned bouts. This post is a mini career retrospective for one of the most polarizing athletes in WWE and UFC history.