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WWE 2012 Wrestlemania XXVIII [Blu-ray]
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John Cena vs. The Rock. The biggest superstars of the last two generations clash in a Main Event that's been one year in the making. It's the biggest WrestleMania in history when WWE comes to Miami, Florida for WrestleMania 28. Undertaker will be looking to make his winning streak an unfathomable 20-0 and the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships will be defended. Last year saw Snooki from Jersey Shore make her in-ring debut who knows what celebrities from the worlds of sports, TV, movies, or music will share the spotlight with the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown at WrestleMania 28!
For WrestleMania fans the most important reason to have volume 28 in their library will be the "Once in a Lifetime" main-event match between Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson and John Cena, two of the most recognizable faces of professional wrestling and bona fide superstar royals in the stable of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Most of the world now knows Johnson as a movie-star action hero and sometime gifted dramatic/comedic actor (see Be Cool). But before he became a global box-office draw, the Rock was one of WWE's mainstays in and out of the ring, carrying on elaborate feuds and grudge matches with other standouts in the pro-wrestling empire. John Cena (who has also racked up several acting credits) was one of those, so it's pure showbiz grandstanding that pits the two in a battle of steroid-enhanced bulging biceps, making this three-disc set an instant classic. Who wins? It's not hard to guess, but that's really not the point of watching the state-of-the-art acrobatic moves like Rock Bottoms, Powerslams, People's Elbows, and Attitude Adjustments that the two throw around in a precisely staged dance of entertainment aggression. Even the most rabid fans will agree that the heavily branded style of WWE events is pure entertainment, and the nearly 80,000 people who attended WrestleMania XXVIII on April 1, 2012, at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, got exactly that. The Cena/Rock match featured on disc two isn't the only draw that will thrill WWE enthusiasts. Billed as "The End of an Era Hell in a Cell Match," Triple H grinds it out with Undertaker within the confines of a chainlink cage. Two six-man crews soar and swing at each other when Team Teddy faces Team Johnny; a heavily hyped girl/girl tag-team bout pits Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos against Beth Phoenix and Eve both in and out of the ring. There are also contests pitting Daniel Bryan against Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship belt and a WWE Championship Match featuring loved and/or hated stars CM Punk and Chris Jericho. In each of the event's eight official matches, the commentators fall all over themselves with hyperbole and breathless, jargony play-by-play while the spotlights swirl, the hip-hop and bass beats pump, and the camera cranes zoom around the capacity crowd, whose adrenaline level probably exceeds that of the attraction's performers. Interspersed with the actual matches are features such as interviews, up-close-and-personal backstories, and the ubiquitous pre-bout baiting sessions staged on massive prosceniums and mega video screens. Disc three is the three-plus-hour 2012 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony--a glittering event on par with any highly produced industry logrolling party such as the Emmys or the Oscars. Along with the WrestleMania show itself, the ceremony pretty much sums up the unifying themes of theater, comedy, drama, pathos, and consuming passion that are all equally important and quite obviously genuine for performers, promoters, and fans alike.
Far from being a marginalized arena for cult-status devotees, pro wrestling and the annual WrestleMania events are decidedly mainstream. This is high-gloss, big-budget performance art with lots of sweat, but none of the bloodletting or unrehearsed moves that define the subculture of the amateur or low-rent pro circuit seen in countless YouTube videos and portrayed by Mickey Rourke and filmmaker Darren Aronofsky in The Wrestler. The savagery has an ordered politeness that's more about storytelling and tightly choreographed athleticism than it is about violence and chaos. Indeed, there's a strong message of positivity and tolerance pervading all the bogus grudges and phony beatings. The uplifting message that's built in to WWE's evolved brand of big-money entertainment is especially strong in the package's special features, including mentions of charity work the WWE stars are engaged in and the camaraderie they share when they're not play-acting and swaggering. There's a proudly positive message of equality to it all that's summed up in the massive "Rise Above Hate" T-shirt Cena wears during the pre-show press conference. WrestleMania is alive and well in America as an annual tradition that's proudly red, white, black, and blue. --Ted Fry
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A few notes on the matches:
Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus
Waste of a match, 18 seconds and its over! Bryan is capable of giving his opponents great matches and people were clearly shouting his "YES, YES, YES!" phrase as he entered the ring. Everybody expected a great battle and instead got a "blink, brogue kick, 1, 2, 3, over" match. Overall rating 1/5.
Randy Orton vs Kane
Standard wrestling match, Orton and Kane traded shots until Orton tried a RKO off the second rope, Kane made his move and captured the victory. Overall 3/5
Big Show vs Cody Rhodes
Good match with lots of hype, Cody brings back the classic Intercontinental belt back, awesome, he plays a classic heel by taunting on Big Show's failures and Show finally makes his Wrestlemania moment by knocking out Rhodes with his WMD finisher. Overall 3.5/5
Beth Phoenix and Eve vs Kelly Kelly and Maria Menounos
You can already tell this is going to be horrible since a celebrity is involved, a month prior, Kelly Kelly came out on WWE magazine saying she wanted her Wrestlemania moment and clearly, it was handed to her, it wasn't earned, it was handed to her. Phoenix and Eve clearly dominated the match and I remember the crowd made fun of Maria Menounos' attempt at a stinkface on Eve, since Eve's makeup smeared on Maria's backside, which sums up this match. The "pretty faces" manage to get a victory and further erode the Women's division, poor Beth, she deserves serious competition. Overall 0/5
Undertaker vs Triple H, Hell in a Cell
This is the match of the night, Triple H seeks to end Undertaker's undefeated streak with Shawn Michaels as the referee. Undertaker and Triple H trade numerous stiff shots, slam each other against the cage, beat each other with various weapons and all the while, Shawn is torn by his duty as the referee and his friend. Shawn does break his oath by hitting Sweet Chin Music on the Undertaker but that was not enough to keep the Deadman down, Undertaker pulled the power of the darkside and buried Triple H and kept the streak intact, 20-0. After the match, all three men left the ring together, they were clearly moved by the match and they all left as victors and legends. Overall 5/5
Team Johnny vs Team Teddy
Now for a goofy match, after all the emotion of the Hell in a Cell match, the crowd needed a break so we got this 12 man tag match. Booker T makes an appearance and takes a beating but he fights back, a brawl breaks out and Eve distracts Zack Ryder long enough for the Miz to take the victory for Team Johnny. The stakes were high in this match because the role of permanent GM of Raw and Smackdown was on the line, Teddy Long lost and John Laurinaitis began his "People Power" era. The match has its high and low spots but it felt more like filler but it was entertaining. Overall 2/5
CM Punk vs Chris Jericho
Back to serious action, Jericho had been pushing Punk's buttons with his taunts, almost reminded me of when Jerry "The King" Lawler taunted Jake "The Wino" Roberts (okay, I know "The Snake" but lets have some fun here) about his love of alcohol. Jericho plays a great heel, special light up jacket, arrogant facial expressions and overall jerk persona. Punk takes out his rage but keeps in check since his title can be lost if he gets disqualified. Punk breaks the Walls of Jericho and slaps on the Anaconda Vise and gets Jericho to tap out, sweet victory for Punk. Overall 4/5
Brodus Clay comes out to fill out the pay per view, corny dance number with his "momma" and the bridge club, not bad but luckily you can skip this on the dvd. Isn't technology great?
MGK plays "Invincible" and gets on the crowd's bad side, which only gives more heat to Cena (which he doesn't need) and Flo Rida does "Good Feeling" and "Wild Ones", very nice introduction for:
John Cena vs The Rock, Once in a Lifetime match.
For one year, Rock and Cena have traded verbal taunts and gotten physical a few times but it all leads to this, the main event of Wrestlemania 28. The Rocks shows the crowd and Cena that he has a few moves and takes Cena by surprise a few times. Cena has more recent ring experience and The Rock's ring rust begins to show as Cena dominates the match, both men avoid each other's finishers and Cena nearly snaps the Rock in half with his STFU. The Rock looks physically drained half way in the match and it almost looked like he was going to pass out, however, Cena let his confidence get the better of him and when he tried for a People's elbow, the Rock pounced and nailed a Rock Bottom for the win. The Rock accomplished something amazing, he was beaten Stone Cold Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan and John Cena at Wrestlemania. Miami was clearly split between Cena and the Rock and this brought memories of Warrior vs Hulk at Wrestlemania VI, at the end, half the crowd was happy, half were upset. Cena is left alone on the ramp, soaking in his loss and what lies ahead....to be continued (in Extreme Rules 2012). Overall 4/5
The Blu ray extras are okay, a few clips from Raw, the Hall of Fame with Edge! Edge's induction into the Hall of Fame is emotional and he can see how moved he and those around are during his introduction and his speech but I loved how he leaves the show, awesome. Great blu ray to add to any WWE fan or Dwayne Johnson fan.
The first hour is the weakest of the show, with the WHC none event, a divia/star match and Kane Vs. Orton.
Things pick up when HHH, Undertaker and The Show Stopper. come out for their Hell in a Cell match. This is one of the best matches I've ever seen. I love the story these theree guys tell in the ring. This match had me haning on eveymove, thinking that every near fall was the end. And I knew who was going to win!! This match was a peice of art, and it's sad that the Undertaker will retire soon and we won't get to see matches like this when he dose.
The team Johny/Team Teddy match was pretty good. Then we have the WWE Title match CM Punk Vs. Y2J, not the best match, because the stipulation that if Punk gets DQed gets over played a bit, but in the end this match more then makes up for the WHC "match", and is one of the better matches of the show.
Then Rock Vs. Cena. Everything about this match is epic. The Inrtos, the crowds reaction, the match it's self. The rock winning was the icing on the cake. Good PPV, and worth a buy on DVD/Blu ray.
For the first time I can remember in a LONG time this release is the EXACT Program as the PPV. No Music Edits, No Re-Shots, and Actually in the case of the HITC Match it's even better as they do not try to alter HHH's "Final Stand"!
As Mentioned ALL the Music as seen on the PPV is here, Metallica, Madonna, Flo Rida, etc. is all here. The Mini Concert(s) are here, it is truly a welcome addition!
This is the way it should be done, in the past the PPV was far superior to the DVD / Blu-Ray not this time, in fact the Blu-Ray is better than the PPV. Congrats to WWE for finally getting this right!
Btw, the Extras are cool with the HOF being the best treat. Ron Simmons speech(with JBL Intro) by far was the best of the HOF's, IMHO, even surpassing the 4 Horseman. The HOF is truly worth it's weight as a stand alone, IMHO. The Press Conference is really corny, I'm starting to lose a lot of respect for CM Punk as he really is becoming to "Hollywood", this P.C.(as well as Punks current escapades as of late) really made me miss the days of the Straight Edge Savior, watch it and you'll see what I mean. Other than that it is the Best WM Release in a Long, Long Time (in terms of the non-edit and production value) and for $19.99 (Blu-Ray) it is a Steal!