WrestleMania over the last few years hasn't been as spectacular as it should be.
This year's WrestleMania however, is something of a return to the glory and splendour that makes the show what it is.
Since last year, we've had reason to anticipate WrestleMania 28, mainly because of the year-long build-up towards The Rock vs. John Cena, truly a dream-match of epic proportions. But there's also the highly-anticipated rematch between the Undertaker and Triple H (inside Hell in a Cell with Shawn Michaels as the referee!) and a much-anticipated bout between WWE Champion CM Punk and Chris Jericho. With a strong set of main-events, there's plenty of greatness to be found this year. And although there's some annoying blemishes, WrestleMania 28 definitely succeeds as a whole.
World Heavyweight Championship Match
Daniel Bryan (Champion w/AJ) vs. Sheamus
I was so angry that these two were shafted from competing on the actual show last year. So I was thrilled that at last Bryan and Sheamus could finally be allowed to compete at WrestleMania...only to watch Vince screw me, all the fans and both wrestlers all over again for the second year in a row! 18 seconds and that's it! Happy for the victor, but I see this more as another booking injustice than anything else! (3/10)
Kane vs. Randy Orton
After having a sour taste in my mouth from the opener, I was thankful to these two for producing such a solid and well-executed bout that put me back in a good mood. Instead of being tedious, this storyline was actually decent and it reflects in the ring. Orton is truly one of the best all-round workers today and it shows in his performance against Kane. Ten minutes long with nothing major to criticise really. Just a strong, pleasant bout with the right winner. (8/10)
Intercontinental Championship Match
Cody Rhodes (Champion) vs. The Big Show
Cody has done a very good job as the IC Champ, and I was glad he would get the chance to defend the belt at WrestleMania. It would've made much more sense to have him face off against brother Goldust in a title vs. career affair, but Vince instead decided on a defence against the Big Show for some daft reason. To be fair, the result is actually okay, with both champion and challenger managing to work a good match but it's far too brief to amount to anything special, and the finish is so contrived and abrupt that it gives the outcome so very little emotional appeal. (5/10)
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos vs. Beth Phoenix & Eve Torres
Ah, the "celebrity" involvement at WrestleMania. Infused in a Divas' bout to serve as nothing more than a breather. It's something a shame, as Beth, Eve and Kelly offer some good action (the highlight being Kelly's impressive Molly-Go-Round from the top rope!), but Maria Menounos just doesn't belong here. She either should've trained more for this contest or just not shown up. Waste of time and the finish the creative team booked is just stupid. (4/10)
End of an Era Hell in a Cell Match
The Undertaker vs. Triple H
Special Guest Referee: Shawn Michaels
For the THIRD time at WrestleMania, we see the Dead Man and the Game face off. And yet again, they give spectators a CLASSIC match (inside Hell in a Cell, no less). Far from being tiresome, the match-up turns out to be absolutely epic, with Shawn once more playing the role of ref with storyline brilliance. It may not be the most violent Hell in a Cell in history, but it's certainly one of the grandest stories ever told within the structure. A magnificent, impeccably-booked match with both participants (and the ref) giving us an excellent show. The contest itself and the genuine aftermath provide perfect closure to the Taker/HHH feud and the legacies of all three men. Match of the night, and worthy match of the year candidate. (10/10)
Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny
Booker T, The Great Khali, R-Truth, Santino Marella, Kofi Kingston & Zack Ryder vs. Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre, David Otunga, Mark Henry, Dolph Ziggler & The Miz
Even with the high-stakes of the winning team's General Manager gaining control of both Raw & SmackDown, there's no emotional investment to be found here. The match itself is not given enough time, it's far too clustered and it's only in the last few minutes that the action elicits a genuine response (thanks in large part to Zack Ryder). The outcome is tedious also, but the aftermath is intriguing as Eve cements her promising new heel status. (5/10)
WWE Championship Match
CM Punk (Champion) vs. Chris Jericho
An excellent WWE Title match, most worthy of WrestleMania. This is a bout I'm sure many have wanted to see and it lives up to expectations. Not the five-star classic it could've been, but still a technical diamond between two of wrestling's very best. Intense build-up, great psychology, great chemistry; what more needs to be said? (9/10)
Once in a Lifetime
The Rock vs. John Cena
Wisely chosen to go on last. Again, this is a dream match of epic proportions and has been wonderfully built up over the last year. Does it live up to the hype? YES. Although it doesn't quite have the aura and magnitude of say Rock vs. Hogan, this is a real WrestleMania clash of the titans, both of whom cement their legacies in thirty minutes of exciting action. The Miami crowd are brilliant! (9/10)
Great extras include a pre-show Triple Threat Tag Team Title Match, the official WrestleMania press conference, Attitude-Era matches and interviews featuring the Rock, a video package of the Undertaker and Triple H's history and the whole 2012 Hall of Fame ceremony. Terrific extras indeed which complete a terrific package. WrestleMania 28 is a show that conquers its blemishes with the strength of some the greatest matches in history. Certainly the best Granddaddy of Them All in a long, long time.