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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Cleveland's champion: The Miz

Cleveland walked away with the championship in the biggest event of the year on Sunday night. A Clevelander, anyway. OK, Parma.

Still, there was something satisfying about hearing the ring announcer at WrestleMania XXVII say "from Cleveland, Ohio" while introducing WWE  champion Mike "The Miz" Mizanin. He left the ring at the end of the night as the champion, too, defeating the previously unbeatable challenger John Cena.

Aside from the hometown pride, it wasn't one of the best WrestleManias. If you were the one shelling out the $55, you probably found a couple things to like based on the cost. If you were watching for free, it felt like a movie you could have skipped until it came out on DVD.

It starts with the end. The main event leaves the last taste, and this one felt like the end of a regular Monday night "Raw." When the match started, the crowd was already gassed after 3 1/2 hours of action. Plus, the Rock was certain to intervene at some point. So the fans were quiet while the Miz and Cena battled, basically waiting for the Rock to show up.

The match ended in a double countout. Everyone knew the biggest show of the year wasn't going to end like that, so it was a matter of what WWE was going to do with the 10 minutes of air time it had remaining. The Rock came out, restarted the match, pummeled Cena with his Rock Bottom finisher, and Miz retained. It seemed anti-climactic and left a logic gap. As Internet critics pointed out, if the Rock had planned to take out Cena, why did he wait until after the countout? He didn't really make up his mind on the spot, did he?

Fans were also wiped out for the main event because they gave it their all in the Triple H-Undertaker match. The two tried to tell a story, one of Triple H trying to finally put Undertaker away, but Undertaker always coming out on top at WrestleMania. Undertaker won in the end with his Hell's Gate finisher. It came after a series of chair shots and finishing moves by Triple H failed to put Undertaker away. Unlike the Shawn Michaels matches the past two years, this one was less dramatic. You knew Undertaker was going to win, but they took so much time between moves that it didn't add suspense. They just took too long. Undertaker was taken off in a stretcher. Surely that won't be the last image we have of one of the all-time greats?

Another match that took far too long was Michael Cole vs. Jerry Lawler. It could have been a straight-forward squash with Lawler getting his due against the dastardly Cole. But it went on and on and on before Lawler finally won. Then, inexplicably, the the RAW general manager reversed the decision and gave the victory to Cole, which means we'll be getting more annoying Cole commentary instead of the end of the feud.

Other matches:

- World title: Edge defeated Alberto Del Rio. Oddly, this was the opening match. That says a lot about the Smackdown championship. The crowd was on fire. Turns out, they should have saved a little energy.

- Cody Rhodes def. Rey Mysterio
- Big Sow, Kane, Santino Marella and Kofi Kingston def. the Corre
- Randy Orton def. CM Punk
- John Morrison, Trish Stratus and Snooki def. Dolph Ziggler and LayCool.

The Sheamus-Daniel Bryan match was moved to before the show, and it was turned into a battle royal, won the by the Great Khali.

- Howard Primer


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