It’s been nearly 21 months since John Cena was last WWE Champion. At WrestleMania 29, he redeemed himself after the worst year of his career, pinning The Rock in the main event to once again become WWE Champion. But before that, The Undertaker kept The Streak alive by beating CM Punk in a show-stealing match.
On the Grandest Stage of Them All, WWE WrestleMania 29 took place in front of the second-biggest crowd in WWE history at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. It featured eight matches, but none bigger than the main event, a one-fall match for the WWE Championship, where The Rock defended against John Cena.
A slow start to the match, as they are clearly planning on going a while here. Jim Ross said on the pre-show that if this goes over 30 minutes, he’s picking Cena. If it goes under 30, he’s picking The Rock.
Cena working a lot of headlocks here, but Rock is able to get a reversal and locks in a sleeper hold, but Cena breaks it and slams Rock to the mat. Cena hits a flying shoulder block and goes for another one, but Rock ducks and Cena goes flying. Each now picking up the pace. Story is they have each other very well scouted. Rock locks in the Sharpshooter, but Cena turns it around and breaks it.
Cena goes for the Five-Knuckle Shuffle but Rock moves and hits a DDT. Rock lining Cena up for the Rock Bottom but Cena counters into the STF. Rock, though, rolls it over and forces Cena to break it or get pinned. Cena, though, slingshots Rock into the turnbuckle and then hits the Five-Knuckle Shuffle. Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment, but Rock counters into a spinebuster. He wants The People’s Elbow, but before he can get going, Cena drags him down into the STF.
Rock again powers out of it and is able to hit the Rock Bottom but Cena kicks out right at two. Rock up and Cena is up, as well and hits the AA but Rock kicks out at two. Cena goes out to the apron and climbs up and goes for the guillotine leg drop but Rock moves and hits The People’s Elbow, but Cena kicks out at two.
The two start slugging it out in the middle of the ring. Rock hits the ropes and goes for a crossbody, but Cena catches him and lifts him up for the AA, but lifts too far and Rock goes behind, spins Cena around and hits the Rock Bottom, but Cena again is out at two.
Cena is down, but now The Rock, instead of going for The People’s Elbow, mocks Cena and goes for the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, only this year, it’s Cena that pops up and hits the AA, but Rock is able to kick out at two. Both men down now.
They start trading again and it ends with Cena hitting a Rock Bottom for two. Cena wondering what to do next. So he decides to go for The People’s Elbow. But he doesn’t go through with it, stopping at the ropes as Rock pops up. He grabs Rock for the AA, but Rock turns it into another Rock Bottom, but Cena is out at two.
They’re back up and trade counters until Rock hits a DDT. Rock back up, but Cena counters him again and hits the Attitude Adjustment. Into the cover, 1, 2, 3! New champ.
Rock gets back up and he and Cena are talking in the middle of the ring. It looks like Cena is giving him a pep talk. They shake hands and embrace to a decidedly mixed reaction. Cena takes off as Rock’s music plays, leaving Rock in the center of the ring. Rock embraces Betty Skaaland and his family at ringside before taking the long walk up the ramp. He gets to the top and he and Cena salute each other and Cena raises his arm as fireworks go off over MetLife Stadium.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Extreme Rules on May 19.
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and John Layfield welcome us to the show, an eight-match affair from New Jersey.
Match #1 – Sheamus (Dublin, Ireland), Randy Orton (St. Louis, Mo.) & The Big Show (Tampa, Fla.) vs. Dean Ambrose (Cincinnati, Ohio), Seth Rollins (Davenport, Iowa) & Roman Reigns (Atlanta, Ga.)
The good guys controlling the action early. Orton hits some mounted punches and then a slingshot suplex on Rollins. Sheamus in and he hits a power slam on Ambrose and then brings in Show. Show pulls up Ambrose’s vest and lays in a big Shh! chop. Ambrose comes out of the corner and slaps Show, but Show shoves him back and lands several more chops. Ambrose, though, goes low to the knee and rolls into his corner and tags Rollins.
Now The Shield gets Show isolated in their corner. Reigns with a chin lock, but Show escapes and brings in Sheamus, who runs wild on Rollins. He gets the clubbing blows on the ropes, then Ambrose gets some for good measure, too. Sheamus hits a rolling senton on Ambrose and then does one to Rollins, dropping him on top of Ambrose. Sheamus goes to the top but Reigns pulls him to the floor and the attack is on. Orton tries to intervene but he is dispatched by a suicide dive from Rollins.
Back in the ring, The Shield goes for the triple power bomb, but Show comes back in and spears all three to break it up. Sheamus crawling to the corner to Show, but Orton jumps up on the apron and takes it. Show is not happy. Orton trying to get the crowd going. Power slam is followed by a draping DDT. Show is not pleased. Orton calling for the RKO. Rollins comes flying in on a springboard but right into the RKO. Orton, though, turns right around into a spear from Reigns and Ambrose is there for the cover and that does it.
Winners via pinfall: The Shield
Match Rating: 7/10
After the match, Show hits the KO punch of both Sheamus and Orton.
Match #2 – Mark Henry (Silsbee, Texas) vs. Ryback (Sin City)
Some tests of power early, and it’s Henry that gets the better of it, leveling Ryback with a big shoulder tackle. Ryback comes back and tries to suplex Henry, but can’t. Instead, Henry lifts him over the ropes onto the apron and then runs him into the post. Henry with a bearhug. He runs Ryback into the corner and he is in total control. Henry follows that by clotheslining Ryback over the top and to the floor.
Ryback doesn’t get back into the ring until the count of nine and right back into the bearhug. Very slow pace now. Ryback escapes and starts to fire up, driving Henry into the corner and then lays some shoulders into Henry and a corner clothesline. He hits the big Meat Hook clothesline. He lifts Henry up to a huge roar for Shell Shock, but Henry grabs the ropes and Ryback can’t hold it and gets squished by Henry. Henry rolls Ryback over and pins him.
Winner via pinfall: Mark Henry
Match Rating: 4/10
The doctors come in to check on Ryback, but Henry shoos them away. Ryback, though, springs up and hits a spinebuster and lays Henry out with the Shell Shock.
Team Hell No retained the tag titles.
Match #3 – WWE Tag Team Championship – (c) Daniel Bryan (Aberdeen, Wash.) & Kane (Hell, Fire & Brimstone) vs. Dolph Ziggler (Hollywood, Fla.) & Big E Langston (Tampa, Fla.)
They immediately pay homage to last year’s Bryan match, as Ziggler calls AJ up for a kiss and immediately eats a head kick from Bryan, but Ziggler kicks out at two. Ziggler peels to the outside and eats a huge suicide dive. In the ring, Bryan lays in some kicks, and Ziggler tags in Langston. Kane wants in, so Bryan obliges him.
Langston catches Kane and hits three straight backbreakers. Kane hits a big boot and wants an early choke slam, but Langston easily powers out and then hits a big pounce that lays out Kane. Ziggler in now and he goes to work on Kane.
Kane gets going and hits a sidewalk slam, but misses when he goes to the top. Ziggler doesn’t get all of the Fameasser, but Bryan breaks it up. Lots of action. Kane with a big uppercut, but Langston breaks it up with a splash. Kane dispatches of Langston and Bryan hits a running knee. Ziggler, though, hits the Zig Zag but Kane kicks out at two.
Ziggler wants the briefcase, but Kane knocks it away and hits the choke slam. He tags in Bryan, drop kicks Langston out of the ring and then Bryan hits the flying headbutt and that does it.
Winners via pinfall and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No
Match Rating: 7/10
Match #4 – Fandango (Westbrook, Maine) vs. Chris Jericho (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
Jericho is all over Fandango to start, even hitting the Codebreaker, but Fandango went falling to the floor. Jericho followed up with a baseball slide and then went to the top and wiped out Fandango with a dive. He continues on him on the floor. Jericho again tries to go high risk, but Fandango leaps up and kicks him and takes over.
Fandango throws Jericho to the apron, but Jericho goes up and hits a flying axhandle. Jericho follows with a Thesz Press and a big kick for two. Jericho back to the top with a crossbody for two, but Fandango responds by throwing Jericho shoulder-first into the ring post. He hits an STO and then goes to the top and hits the big guillotine leg drop but Jericho kicks out at two.
Fandango is arguing with the referee and Jericho rolls him up but it’s only for two. Jericho charges out of the corner but eats a clothesline. He goes back to the top but Jericho knocks him off the top with Fandango crashing to the canvas. He loads Fandango up on the top rope and wants a superplex, but Fandango headbutts Jericho down. He goes for the big leg drop, but Jericho moves. Jericho wants the Lionsault, but overshoots it and goes for the Walls of Jericho instead, but his knee gives out and Fandango grabs a small package and wins it.
Winner via pinfall: Fandango
Match Rating: 7/10
Alberto del Rio is still World champion.
Match #5 – World Heavyweight Champion – (c) Alberto Del Rio (San Luis Potosi, Mexico) vs. Jack Swagger (Perry, Okla.)
Swagger goes to work on Del Rio’s shoulder right off the bat. Del Rio, though, gets in some post offense of his own and takes over. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker lands, then he stomps on Zeb Colter’s hand and hits a superkick on Swagger for two.
Swagger comes back with a belly-to-belly throw for two. Swagger with a backcracker for two. Del Rio, though, hit a German suplex as the crowd chants “We want Ziggler.” Back-and-forth we go as Swagger hits the gut-wrench power bomb for two. Swagger follows with the Patriot Lock, but Del Rio is near the ropes, but Swagger pulls him back, but Del Rio yanks Swagger down and goes for the cross-armbreaker. He has it briefly but Swagger slides out back into the Patriot Lock.
Del Rio gets the ropes, though. Swagger takes his time breaking it and goes right back to it despite Del Rio being in the ropes. He goes for the gut-wrench again, but Del Rio comes out and hits a high kick and comes back with the corner kick, but Colter puts Swagger’s foot on the bottom rope.
Ricardo Rodriguez comes to confront Colter, but Colter kicks him in the broken ankle. Del Rio comes out to confront Colter, but Swagger comes out and railroads him and then throws him into the barricade. Swagger throws Del Rio back in the ring, but Del Rio catches him in the cross-armbreaker. Swagger’s in the center of the ring and has no choice but to tap.
Winner via submission and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: Alberto Del Rio
Match Rating: 5/10
The Undertaker makes his entrance.
Match #6 – CM Punk (Chicago, Ill.) vs. The Undertaker (Death Valley)
Real fast start to this one. The action quickly spills to the outside, where Taker throws Punk over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area and then smashes his head into the Spanish announce table. He takes the things off the table and runs Punk back-first into the ring post. He puts Punk on the apron and lands some punches and then the apron leg drop.
Undertaker in control. He goes to the top and wants Old School, but Punk yanks him down to the canvas. Now Punk goes to the top and does Old School himself. Taker tries to get going, but Punk sidesteps a big boot and Taker gets caught up in the corner. He goes to the outside and Punk goes to the top and hits a double axhandle to the floor.
Back in the ring, Punk hits a neckbreaker. They rise up and start trading blows, but Punk hits another neckbreaker. Punk goes to the top and wants Old School again but Taker is able to pull him down and crotch him and land a big shot that sends Punk to the floor. Taker hits the back ropes and is going for something big, but Paul Heyman jumps on the apron to block it. Taker wants a choke slam but is saved by Punk with a springboard clothesline.
Punk hits the corner knee and then goes to the top and hits the flying elbow for two. Punk calls for the GTS but Taker slips out and grabs Punk and hits the choke slam, but Punk gets the shoulder up at two. More back-and-forth action here.
|WHAT YOU THINK|
What did you think of WrestleMania 29?
It was great – 15%
It was okay – 35%
Didn’t like it – 19%
Didn’t see it – 31%
Punk sends Undertaker flying over the top rope with a clothesline and then clears off the rest of the Spanish announce table. He turns around into an uppercut from Taker, who loads him up for the Last Ride, but Punk slipped out the back and hit a high kick that sends Taker onto the table. Punk thinks for a second and then leaps to the top rope, raises his arms and goes for the elbow but comes up a bit short, but still lands the elbow.
Punk gets back into the ring, but Undertaker is hurting. He finally gets back into the ring to break the count at the last moment. Punk goes to follow up, but Undertaker locks in the Hell’s Gate, but Punk escapes but flipping over and locks in the Anaconda Vice. Undertaker sits up out of it, but Punk hits the GTS, only for Taker to hit the ropes and scoop Punk up for the Tombstone. He hits it, but Punk is somehow able to kick out at two.
Now the two are trading in the center of the ring. Taker gets the better of it and sends Punk off the ropes and ducks down, but Punk kicks him, but Taker no sells it. He goes for the choke slam, but Punk hits the referee on his way out. He escapes and hits the corner knee, but gloats too long and goes up for the Last Ride. Heyman hands him the urn and Punk clocks Taker with it. He goes for The Undertaker’s cover but Taker kicks out at the very last moment.
Punk can’t believe it. The two exchange a ton of reversals with Punk going for the GTS, but Taker dead lifts him, wheels him in and hits the Tombstone. 1, 2, 3!
Winner via pinfall: The Undertaker
Match Rating: 10/10
Match #7 – No Holds Barred Match – Brock Lesnar (Minneapolis, Minn.) vs. Triple H (Greenwich, Conn.)
The action immediately goes to the outside. Lesnar throws Triple H over the barricade and has a chair. He goes over, but Triple H clotheslines him over the barricade and right on his head. Triple H with a high knee back in the ring, but throws him back outside. Lesnar, though, catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor.
He drops HHH face-first on the announce table and then suplexes him through the Spanish announce table, before chucking him onto the wreckage with another belly-to-belly. This man is a beast. Back in the ring, Triple H is able to hit a knee lift, but he can’t gain any momentum off it as Lesnar puts him right back down. Triple H gets a big boot up in the corner, but Lesnar responds with another belly-to-belly.
Lesnar in total control and stalking Triple H on the outside, but Triple H is able to hit a clothesline and then send him over into the timekeeper’s area. Lesnar grabs a chair, but HHH stops it and hits Lesnar with one of his own. Back in the ring, Lesnar hits a German suplex and then knocks Shawn Michaels off the apron, but turns back around into a spinebuster. Hit hits the boot the gut but Lesnar grabs him on his shoulders, but drops him to block an incoming Sweet Chin Music. He hits the F5 on Michaels, but Triple H comes back with the Pedigree for two.
Triple H grabs the sledgehammer from the outside, but Lesnar ducks under and scoops him up and hits the F5, but Triple H kicks out at two. Back to the outside and Lesnar connects with a steel chair. He grabs the steel steps and cracks Hunter with them. He then grabs the flat side and throws it into the ring. He throws Triple H into the ring and makes the throat slash gesture. He grabs the steps again and drills Triple H with them, but Triple H kicks out at two.
Lesnar gets in Hunter’s face and trash talks him, and Triple H responds with a slap and some punches. He wants the Pedigree, but Lesnar spins out and locks in the Kimura. Triple H busts out, but Lesnar locks it in again. And again. Now Lesnar sits on the top turnbuckle with it applied for leverage, but Triple H lifts Lesnar up and hits a modified spinebuster to break the hold.
Lesnar comes charging into the corner but eats post and Triple H uses a low blow to put Lesnar down. He grabs Lesnar wrings his arm into the post. Then he grabs a steel chair and sandwiches the arm between the chair and post. Then between the chair and steps in the ring. Triple H locks in the Kimura now. Heyman comes in with a chair but Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music.
Lesnar about to tap, but then he just dead lifts Triple H and hits a spinebuster onto the steps, but he doesn’t move and Triple H grabs the Kimura again. Lesnar again slams him onto the steps to break it, but again, he doesn’t move and Triple H locks it in again. Lesnar lifts again, but Triple H hooks his head and DDTs Lesnar. He hits him with the sledgehammer but doesn’t go for the pin. Instead, he Hunter’s Up and grabs Lesnar on the steps and hits the Pedigree. That does it.
Winner via pinfall: Triple H
Match Rating: 7/10
Match #8 – WWE Championship – (c) The Rock (Miami, Fla.) vs. John Cena (West Newbury, Mass.)
Winner via pinfall and NEW WWE Champion: John Cena
Match Rating: 7/10
Event Rating: 8/10